Some tools to drool over.  Image (c) 1998 Jock Dempsey.  Click for enlargement. WELCOME to the anvilfire!
Virtual Hammer-In!

This page is open to ALL for the purpose of advancing blacksmithing, swaping lies, selling tools.
Please read the RULES before posting a message.
NOTE: This IS NOT the Guru page!

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

That is why modern bankruptcy law says they cannot take ones tools of their trade.
- guru - Thursday, 10/19/17 09:16:28 EDT

The lies get bolder:
The telephone credit scammers have upped their game. Their into recording claiming to be "VISA" says you MUST accept their offer or they will cancel your credit card. The do not have the power to do this.

The lies start with their caller ID. It is bogus OR worse, today they used an actual bank number (Chase VISA).

The second lie is that they ARE your credit card company. They are not, they are scammers in a boiler room in India.

The third lie is that they can help reduce your card interest rate. That is THREE lies in seconds and you have not spoken to a person yet.

IF they have a do-not-call option it does no good, it just confirms that you picked up the phone. A fourth lie.

Depending on my mood I hang up OR I press the response key (1 or 9) and then I tell the guy on the other end of the line, "You are a lair and a thief". OR just, "Get an honest job!". You have to be quick because these low lifes know when you are starting to tell them off. I do not try to troll them as it does no good and it not worth my time.

PLEASE talk to your elderly relatives and children who may be fooled by these scammers. They are thieves that bill your card up to $900 for their "services". They are also phishing for personal information (SS number, bank account info, DOB...). They can ruin your life.

Today I got 2 of these calls on my land line and 3 on my cell phone. All these were using the NEW lie that they will cancel your card if you do not reply. I have to pick up these calls with no ID as my phones are used for business and many individuals and businesses do not have proper caller ID notification.

- guru - Thursday, 10/19/17 19:07:01 EDT

nomorobo works pretty well for me. I signed up for it free for my fiber landline. Unfortunately, it isn't free for mobiles, and isn't available for copper landlines.
Mike BR - Monday, 10/23/17 19:23:40 EDT

Nomorobo looks like a great service. A few years ago I read of a device which intercepted incoming calls and asked the caller to press a number to be put through. I wanted one.
Unfortunately Nomorobo does not appear to be available here in Australia.
- Phil H - Tuesday, 10/24/17 18:03:40 EDT

I don't know whether to be glad or sorry to learn that telemarketing calls aren't an exclusive perk of living in the USA (grin). I wonder if any generally free countries have found a way to stop them.
Mike BR - Wednesday, 10/25/17 18:56:10 EDT

Telescammer: is the proper term for most of these people. They are not trying to sell something, they are trying to steal.

The credit card rate scammers started in Florida but when things got too hot there they moved the operation to India where many boiler room operations are run. Occasionally they are raided but then they pop up again within days. They charge up to $900 on your card that they are supposed to help. . . then do nothing. They also sell personal information.

Security system scams are popularly run against the elderly. They start with "This is not a sales call." Then they offer a "free" security system (an electronic box worth about $10 in today's market). But the "system" is worthless without the monitoring which DOES cost something. Do it IS a sales call, a LIE. A Friend of our's Father in Law who had early memory issues had signed up for 3 of these, two from the same thieving company. Many of these are charged against your telephone bill and are easy to go unnoticed.

- guru - Thursday, 10/26/17 22:35:13 EDT

Fire Retardent Clothing:
Cotton welding aprons, sleaves, spats and caps can be made flame retardent by soaking in a borax solution and then letting air dry. If washed, repeat process. - DaveB

New safety tip.
- guru - Thursday, 10/26/17 22:36:45 EDT

These items should not be worn against bare skin.
- guru - Friday, 10/27/17 17:55:25 EDT

Telescammers: Maybe we can blame it on the Do Not Call list. (When telemarketing is outlawed . . .) But in actuality, I doubt cutting down on the legal calls made it any easier for the scammers.
Mike BR - Saturday, 10/28/17 14:46:17 EDT

Tip of the Day: "Feeling lucky newbie"?

A great tip Guru.
- Tom H - Monday, 10/30/17 10:08:33 EDT

Safety and Shop Tips:

I just added two new tips, one to safety and machinery and another to just machinery. The safety tip was drawn from the "Got Away With it Factor" article.

CHUCK KEYS: Never take your hand off it unless it is OUT/OFF the chuck. I don't care if it is for 2 seconds to check something or make an adjustment you JUST DON'T DO IT. Chuck keys small and large (lathe chuck keys are often more than a foot long) can fly like missiles, crash into ways, snag sleeves, or a combination of things. Practice keeping your hand ON THE KEY! This is one of the most commonly broken rules and one of the most dangerous hazards in the shop.

Jacobs® Chucks: Besides being THE standard drill chuck some models of Jacobs chucks can be rebuilt. Kits cost about half that of a new chuck. Replacement Jacobs keys are readily available from many sources AND Jacobs makes a handy 4 way key that is almost universal among most Jacobs chucks. You cannot go wrong by standardizing on Jacobs® Chucks in your shop. - guru

The next time I rebuild a Jacobs chuck I'll do a photo how-to. Once you know how they come apart it is easy but until then they are a bit of a mystery.

Why rebuild or replace? Any time a bit slips in the chuck it chews up the chuck jaws. Eventually the jaws develop too much tapered wear and do not grip tightly and often run out (this is normal) On the heavy duty Ball Bearing chucks the bearings are often damaged by over tightening. New bearings are supplied in the rebuild kit.

- guru - Monday, 10/30/17 14:10:24 EDT

Another Safety Tip and History:
TOO HEAVY TO HANDLE: Know your limitations. The most common debilitating injury in the shop and construction site is a bad back from lifting something too heavy or awkward. Male impatience and Machismo are primary factors in this. Keep it in your pants, wait for help OR the right lifting equipment. It can save you a lifetime of pain. - Roger A. Hayden (1953 - 1975).

Roger was my good friend and brother in law. He liked working construction and intended to do so for his entire life. But he had observed that many of the older workers had bad backs and self medicated (usually with alcohol - but sometimes stronger substances) and he did not want to end up this way.

Roger died much too young as a result of a fall while visiting Crabtree falls in Amherst Co. Virginia. He was saved from drowning by a young couple. He died days later due to a broken neck. The couple would become my friends three years later. However it would be 30 years before we discovered this connection between us. A lot of crying and hugging ensued in the middle of a rural road overlooking a waterfall as we remembered past events. This was the first time I had a good cry over Roger's death . . . and now I tear up every time I tell this story.
-guru - Sunday, 11/05/17 11:03:41 EST

We DO NOT give ANYONE permission to use our content. "Pinning" items onto Pinterst is STEALING. Due to people pining so much of our content to pinterest any search for an anvilfire image returns a Pinterest collection. This is THEFT of content, theft of MY work, and takes real money from MY pockets. Starting today we are reporting images DAILY and asking for strikes against the offenders.
- guru - Wednesday, 11/08/17 14:35:11 EST

Headlines should read "Good Guy With a Gun stops Church Mass Shooter". This is the truth.

What was reported was that the Shooter committed suicide. In fact a neighbor Stephen Willeford, and a good Samaritan with a truck Johnnie Langendorff, chased and shot the Shooter (2 or 3 times on a running gunfight).

The reason the FAKE news did not report the REAL story is that a hero with an AR-15 does not fit the main stream news bias against guns and the 2nd amendment.

In fact, honest folks with guns stop a LOT of crime and it is almost never reported in the news. There are hundreds of examples on Youtube. AND how many times does just letting the bad guy know you have a gun end the confrontation right there and its not reported to the police or the news (and thus there are no statistics)?
- guru - Wednesday, 11/08/17 18:37:28 EST

I just reported ONE Pinterst user for using dozens of our images from anvilfire and two of our other sites. He had every image from my post vice article, images from my plans page and from numerous iForge articles.

Several of this users pages had what looked like affilate links to blacksmithing books so he was using stolen images for commercial purposes.

I reported several pages yesterday that had a dozen images from our X1 Hammer article and JYH Design articles.

IF you have our images on your Pinterest page we are going to report them. Since these pages are anonymous I do not know who you are and I do not really care. You have stolen from me. If you do not clean up ALL your pages you may get reported over and over. . .
- guru - Friday, 11/10/17 20:10:00 EST

Pinterest: I don't use Pinterest, snapchat, etc,etc,etc. I may be 72 and retired, but I don't want to spend hours looking at things vicariously when I can do things myself. I refuse to join Facebook and other sites after an episode several years ago when my grandson went to Myspace on my computer and it cost me $90 to rid it of malware. If i want to learn something, i may check the web for info, but always deny a site permission to change or access my computer. That being said, I just checked on Pinterest and apparently there are several million pins that lead you to info about any given subject. If you want more info, it leads you to a website. If I understand you, the images you object to lead users to other websites, not to Anvilfire. Is this correct, or am I missing something?
- Loren Tollefson - Saturday, 11/11/17 11:01:50 EST

Pinterest Leads:
Pinterest relies on "members" building collections. The rules state that they are NOT to use copyrighted material. However, they make it much more difficult for a copyright holder to make a complaint than the "members" who only need to make a click. . . It takes me hours to file a complaint.

Pinterest collections are often 100% illegally used copyrighted information. It is a devious lowlife business model.

IF Pinterest collections had only ONE of our images and a link directly to the subject mater it would not be so egregious. But greedy Pinterest members will copy EVERY image from an article as did the ones that used very image from our Blacksmith Vise article plus several from our Vise Gallery and most of the images from our X1-Hammer article. Many copy multiple images from multiple pages.

Pinterest collections become entities on their own by shear mass. All by theft.

Due to the proliferation of Pinterest pages a search for something specifically on anvilfire will bring up dozens of Pinterst pages instead of the content on anvilfire. Going to those links does not guarantee that the searcher will end up on anvilfire. There is ALWAYS a link to a second page and MORE thumbnails from other sites. Pinterest links often lead to pages that also stole our images. The longer our property is on these pages the more this occurs.

All this reduces the certainty that people will find us and reduces the value of our content. This is called dillution. It dilutes the value of our content.

Much of the content that is being stolen (and it IS theft) are images and drawings that I may have hundreds of hours invested. They were created by me for use on anvilfire and nowhere else (unless I write a book or publish a CD).

Anvilfire will be 20 years old next spring. With the exception of a couple years I've worked anvilfire 7 days a week and relied on anvilfire for my living all those years.

Stealing our content is no different than someone coming into your shop or home and stealing your tools or belongings. In most places you would have the right to shoot the thief in your house. Well, this is MY house, albiet a rather public one. The downside being that when you deal with the public there will always be a few that don't respect your property.

I've given the public free access to all the content on anvilfire and our other sites. But that does NOT mean the public has the right to walk off with our content OR for Pinterest to make a business off OUR work.
- guru - Saturday, 11/11/17 14:08:33 EST

Boston Knife Makers: Last year I scored this Colonial Period anvil at an auction in upstate VT. Upon cleaning it I found these marks. I believe the chiseled marking of Boston is original since all subsequent marks are over 'BOSTON'as opposed to being under it.

Also there is another name above it that I cannot make out but for a few letters. Anyone know the name of Colonial knife makers in Boston?
Overall a really cool anvil in pretty good original shape. IOt shal never leave my possession.
- Joe Polaski - Monday, 11/13/17 15:55:47 EST

"It shall never leave my possession."

Better plan on it being your head stone. :)
- guru - Monday, 11/13/17 23:51:07 EST

Pinterest removed several dozen pages with our images.

They did not like my submitting THEIR index to pins from our pages so I resubmitted going through the index selecting specific images or images from articles. From this amounted to over 100 image links without getting to the gallery.
- guru - Monday, 11/13/17 23:59:00 EST

COST of Images I:
We rarely pay for images but we paid a significant license fee for one of the images on This license was for use on that site ONLY. If I want to publish it in print then I will have to negotiate and PAY another license. Legally I HAVE to track down infringers.

For a couple years we licensed cartoons from 5th Wave. The two cartoons we licensed "laptop anvil" and "Satyr needs blacksmith" cost several hundred dollars to run 5 days each.

We also had professional cartoonists submit cartoons specifically for anvilfire in exchange for advertising. At our rates we paid a LOT for "Trump Apprentice Blacksmith" and "Smith fixing nose ring".

We have also paid and traded for other comics. Nippulini was paid in ITC-100 and Kaowool. This may not sound like much but his drawings were rough sketches that I spent many hours making clean line work from then coloring. I probably have 20 times the hours in them than he had. But I wish I could get him to do more and have offered to pay. . .

I also paid for the Old Welder collection. He sent a few a month and I paid as much as I could. It took several years for him to find all his old metalwork and general purpose cartoons and much time for me to digitize them. While they were professional art our scans all had to be made cleaner and bolder. We also added color to those we thought appropriate. I probably have as much time invested in each as Frank did originally. I have thousands of dollars (cash money) invested in this collection.

Old Welder Collection
- guru - Tuesday, 11/14/17 00:46:20 EST

COST of Images II: There is not a single image on anvilfire that I have not tweeked or put up to a day's work into.


The above are mostly images that were donated to us but that I could not publish AS-IS. The results in some cases are fully digital paintings. In other cases such as "Josh's Hands" the results are an outstanding work of art.

Then there are images like "Dave Testing the X1-b". In the original photo the background is as well lit as the foreground and equally in focus. It was hard to look at. The reworked image has the background lightened, the contrast reduced and put out of focus. This in done in four zones at different depths. The foreground, Dave and the Hammer, were made brighter, the contrast increased and shadow added to improve the edges. This does not include the time taking multiple photos trying to catch the hammer at the bottom of the stroke so the ram is in focus. Nor does it include the time designing an attractive machine and painting it so that it would photograph well.

I used to do EVERY image in the NEWS this way. . . that is largely why I had to quit the news. . .

Dave Testing the X1-b middle page
- guru - Tuesday, 11/14/17 01:49:42 EST

Server Time Test
- guru - Tuesday, 11/14/17 09:25:29 EST

Tommy 1951 - 2017: My cousin Tommy died yesterday. We were not close and it has been 20 years since I've seen him. We were the same age and this made us close in that way.

Tommy was special. He had Downs syndrome. When he was born his parents were told to abandon him, give him to the State and they would "care" for him until the end of a very short life. . . They refused, found experts, form support groups, created schools. . . and Tommy thrived. He functioned at a higher level than he should due to the love of his parents.

For many years Tommy spent time with my Grandparents, helping around the house and keeping them company. Later he helped take care of his sister's daughters and helped keep house. In recent years he had developed Alzheimer's and was finally put into a convalescent home. He developed pneumonia and died. He had outlived both his parents.

We were close but not close.
- guru - Thursday, 11/16/17 18:56:39 EST

Tommy: Sorry for your loss Jock.
As I understand Scripture, God has unique mercy for the 'innocent'.
- Tom H - Sunday, 11/19/17 00:30:35 EST

If there are Angels then they are Downs children when they walk among us.

- guru - Sunday, 11/19/17 03:13:41 EST

Time confusion:
The other day I noticed the date on my PC was incorrect so I reset it. Then I couldn't login to one of my server applications. I spent a couple days researching it to no avail. So I reset the date incorrectly. . . that worked.

Meanwhile, most applications rely on your local PC's date/time. When I scheduled pickups by UPS and the Post Office the calendars were all amiss and I ended up scheduling pickups a day late, Same with a bank payment. . . I was surprised at the critical services that relied on a customer's time setting.

For the rest of the week I was confused about the date. . . So I checked it AGAIN and went to reset it. . . Then I noticed that AM-PM was incorrect. So the date was changing mid-day! After resetting that the day was correct and I could login to the application. The confusion was over. . .

Anyway, all is well now. It was sort like the answer Daniel Boone gave about never being lost. ". . . but I was a might bewildered for some time."

Several months ago I had a similar thing happen with our server when someone thought it should have the time set to Universal Daylight Time (UDT) after having been set to Eastern Time since the beginning. I noticed our Tips of the Day were displaying two different tips a day and that one of out Holiday announcements were off a day. That one also took a few days to figure out. . .
- guru - Sunday, 11/19/17 04:05:37 EST

Bad Robot: slaughterbots

Only IF the world was as simple as Asimov wrote it and ALL robots had the 3 laws. Starting with #1, A robot will NOT hurt a human or let harm come to a human. But in Asimov's world there was only ONE maker of robots and they were committed to the Three Laws. Today, like in the film above it is the worst sort making the greatest progress in this field and the LAST thing they want is the Three Laws.

Unlike nuclear weapons the platform for this weapon is cheap and already readily available. The only thing missing is a few specialized chips to keep the total package weight at a minimum. Like the Neutron bomb which was heavily debated in the 1970's. this weapon does not destroy infrastructure, just people. AND it is even more selective than the Neutron bomb and does not kill cattle and wildlife.

IF you think the above is far fetched. . they already make a flying drone camera system that will follow you . Yes, it follows a sending unit. But what is different about your cell phone? Chipped cards. . .
- guru - Sunday, 11/19/17 22:56:59 EST

Sympathy: I'll be taking Amanda to her bi-weekly "Pizza and Movie Night" tomorrow. She's now "31 going on 7" and living in a very good group home. At church she serves as acolyte (Fully successful- Does not set Episcopal Priest on fire!); and Thursday we'll have Thanksgiving at her sister's-in-law. We were quite fortunate that attitudes and ideas had changed so much in the proceeding 10 or 20 years. Your aunt and uncle did the right thing.

"You don't need a 150 I.Q. to spin, weave and tend the sheep." (UAVTBoW)
Bruce Blackistone Atli - Monday, 11/20/17 22:21:01 EST

TIP walk through: Another good one guru.
Notice that even Peter Ross on the relatively straightforward operations we see on the Woodwright Shop seems to be a few steps ahead in his thinking as he mentally 'walks through' before doing the task.
- TomH - Wednesday, 11/22/17 10:23:11 EST

The Hot Iron Dance:
Remember "The Neutron Dance"? Big favorite when I was doing Nuclear work. . .

I find that walk troughs help with efficiency in blacksmithing. I started calling it a dance when I found I was doing a lot of shop "pirouettes" in my small work space.

In metal casting it is more of a safety exercise than anything else. I found in my early casting work that you needed preplanned laydown areas hot items like crucibles, lids, furnace parts. Laying a crucible in sand results in melted sand/glass on the bottom of the crucible which is difficult to remove and will stick to other things later. . . like welding the crucible to the crucible block in your furnace. .

If you work with others in a close space practicing the Hot Iron Dance is even more important.

After watching the Pointer Sisters do Neutron Dance I think I'm going to watch Beverly Hills Cop. . . Nice relaxing Thanksgiving afternoon. . .
- guru - Thursday, 11/23/17 12:58:22 EST

In skydiving we did a "dirt dive" prior to the jump when we were making freefall formations. Everybody walked through the jump and we would change formation and practice until everybody was sure of where and who they were grabbing. In bigger formations of 15 or 40 or so we would do them in our jumpsuits and rigs hanging on our backs as the colors helped focus on what to grab as you often could not see others faces.Bigger formations were made usually from 12,500 feet above the ground yeilding about 60 seconds freefall, so one had to be quick and sure, just like a complicated move in blacksmithing. When we are doing a big split cross we often have 3 porter bar guys and when the cross arrives at either the forge or the anvil we often have a group pivot. We have chosen to call a "Dosi-do" and always do a right turn so it is automatic.
- ptree - Thursday, 11/23/17 19:06:02 EST

You just gave me an idea for a comic. . . Group of smiths working on a big item, Master Smith with Cow-boy hat and microphone calling the action. . . Allemand left, grab your sledge and face your partner, strike his punch and. . .

Now who do I put all the puffy dresses on ?
- guru - Friday, 11/24/17 09:13:41 EST

One of the BFH group who will go unnamed is always called on the do the final sledge peened finish on the flared ends of our 3" square split crosses as he is very meticulous. This smith was observed to be stepping slowely in a back and forth manner as he used the straight peen to do the texture as the rest of us were striking with cross peens. Being The BFH, we started calling "Happy feet" when we notice and we all step in formation with him as we are striking :) Not yet captured on video, but we are doing a big Cross tomorrow at my shop for The Smoked Turkey Hammer-in and maybe video will capture this.
ptree - Friday, 11/24/17 20:25:33 EST

2, 3, cha cha cha, 2, 3, cha cha cha. .


1, 2, tap tap tap, 3, 4, tap tap tap. . .

- guru - Saturday, 11/25/17 09:29:51 EST

Not to be confused with the infamous Hollywood "tap tap tink, tap tap tink".
- guru - Sunday, 11/26/17 08:48:26 EST

Jock I think you need a nap.
- TomH - Sunday, 11/26/17 15:12:18 EST

Now you have me thinking of a hot iron tango!
- ThomasP - Monday, 11/27/17 23:27:42 EST

THAT is what you need those Iron Roses for! A bit hard on the teeth though.
- guru - Tuesday, 11/28/17 12:06:50 EST

A couple weeks ago I submitted complaints about collections built using some of our images from anvilfire and I was about to resubmit but just received notice that these batches had been processed and are in the process of removal.

If you have been warned about one or more of our images it would be to your advantage to remove ALL as we are continuing to report images until ALL have been reported.

The resources on anvilfire are FREE to the public to read and even copy. But it is not available to be republished elsewhere on the web or in print. THAT is theft.
- guru - Wednesday, 11/29/17 19:17:04 EST

Free Resource: Hence, numerous links to Anvilfire in my missives to beginning blacksmiths and reenactors. :^)
Bruce Blackistone Atli - Thursday, 11/30/17 22:12:23 EST

Stable Links:
The other thing we do is keep our links the same OR if an article is replaced the old link rolls over to the new. This was a decision I made 20 years ago and continue to maintain those links. IF you linked to one of our articles in 1998 it should still work.

I stopped linking to other pages years ago due to the fact that they were always disappearing. . . .
- guru - Friday, 12/01/17 11:24:15 EST

2018 anvilfires 20th Aniversary:
20 Years and over 27 Million visits!
- guru - Friday, 12/01/17 13:05:53 EST

Light wet snow today. . .
- guru - Friday, 12/08/17 13:09:28 EST

Snow got wetter - stuck to everything.
Light snow again. . . Expecting freezing rain.
Oh to be in Costa Rica. . .
- guru - Saturday, 12/09/17 09:16:50 EST

Snowed Thursday Morning---as I was walking across the southern border of the USA. Luckily it stopped before work was over. Looks like the furnace in my rental is broken, again. Luckily we had a lot of sun today and it's warming up next week.
ThomasP - Saturday, 12/09/17 23:16:25 EST

haybudden anvil: I have a 131lb. with the serial # A12600 or A13600 visible and I would like to find out when it was made.
sandlapper - Sunday, 12/10/17 21:01:21 EST

Dee guru's den
- guru - Monday, 12/11/17 22:50:19 EST

acquisititus: Noun?
- TomH - Wednesday, 12/13/17 09:39:55 EST

Green Tanning

- guru - Saturday, 12/16/17 09:41:01 EST

Hey, Jock, is the Guru's den still working? I just typed in a long post on files (the short version is NOS Nicholsons) and when I clicked "post" I got the "Don't Panic" screen, but it never showed up.
Alan-L - Monday, 12/18/17 13:53:21 EST

Forging Furnace: I have a forging furnace that I am looking for information on. I've attached some pictures of it. The brand is The Kidder Co, Canton Oh, Patent Jan 13, 1927.
CaGuy - Monday, 12/18/17 18:14:42 EST

Alan, Your post showed up fine.
- guru - Tuesday, 12/19/17 02:07:00 EST

Kidder Forge:
CaGuy, What you have is an ancient natural gas forge.

From the number and size of the burners I'd say it would run you out of business trying to feed it UNLESS you were using it to feed a large drop hammer in high production (moving billets as big as a man could move about every 30 seconds.).
- guru - Tuesday, 12/19/17 02:16:30 EST

6 Beaudry: I am working on a friends #6 Beaudry power hammer & I was wondering what the distance between the dies should be when the hammer is at rest at the bottom of the stroke.
Also wondering what the normal stroke length is set at.

Dave Huffman
- Dave Huffman - Tuesday, 12/19/17 16:33:54 EST

I've found that when I post from Chrome (as I usually do), the the post often does not show up for some time, even when I refresh. A couple of times I've checked and been able to see the post in Explorer well before it shows up in Chrome. Of course, that may have more to do with different settings in the two browsers than the browsers themselves.
Mike BR - Tuesday, 12/19/17 18:56:03 EST

Beaudry: The adjustment rules for all mechanical power hammers are roughly the same.

Die clearance is based on the work being done. Generally this is set at about the work starting size.

Stroke is also based on work size. The heavier the work or greater the size change the longer the stroke. In general, the shorter the stroke the better the control. So this is a matter of balance and the smiths needs. Stroke should not be increased by loosening the springs.

Hammers with spring adjustments are generally adjusted so that the toggles are level OR so that there is not too much slop in the motion. Late Beaudrys are not adjustable this way. They need to have the internal rollers checked for roundness and that they are well lubricated. Sloppy motion can also be a sign of weak or incorrect springs/snubbers. It is the sign of a sick hammer.

Changing the stroke will change the die height so that normally needs to be readjusted.

The smith who knows how to adjust his hammer on the fly is a much more effective and efficient smith.
- guru - Tuesday, 12/19/17 20:08:45 EST

The early versions of Netscape required setting "Check for new page" to ALWAYS or forum pages would not refresh for 24 hours. . . I think this is automatic on FireFox. The early versions of Explorer had to be forced to reload.

I gave up on the browse wars years ago. If it works in Firefox its good enough for me.
- guru - Tuesday, 12/19/17 20:25:43 EST

Browsers: Thanks, Mike, that would be it.
posting with Chrome on a tablet and it didn't show up for 24 hours. Explorer worked instantly. Go figure, huh? And I do have it (Chrome) set to check for new page every time. These are both work computers and we're not allowed to use Firefox.
- Alan-L - Wednesday, 12/20/17 14:39:43 EST

There is generally a forced reload key combination, [CTR]+ something. . . that will do it. . .
- guru - Wednesday, 12/20/17 18:09:44 EST

Do you remember the invention of the LASER?

Don't feel bad, it was in 1960 and only big news in scientific publications of the time. I knew about it because I read my father's Science News Letter which was all cutting edge hard science at the time. Yeah I was a Nerd wannabe. . .

LASER is an acronym for "light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation". For decades it was written in all caps because it was an acronym but today it is just "laser" due to common usage.

At the time it was considered a great scientific break through but mostly in the field of high energy physics. Practical uses would take decades to develop. Early uses were scientific applications such a lighting up a patch of the moon.

For a long time LASERS were heard of mostly in science fiction (Ian Flemmings, Goldfinger - Movie 1964).

It was not until the computer revolution that LASERS really took off. The high speed digital manipulation made them useful in everything from LASER cutting to portable LASER disks. The LASER printer is a fantastic work horse invention. I had one of the first "personal" desk top printers made, the HP LaserJet IIp (1989). My new LASER printer is an HP color machine with built in scanner.

Now days the LASER is so common that kids play with low cost LASER pointers (a bad idea).

Today many Blacksmiths have plasma cutting tables in their shops. But many also purchase blanks cut on similar LASER tables. As the cost goes down or there are more used machines available I will expect LASER cutting tables in professional Blacksmith shops of the 21st Century.
- guru - Saturday, 12/23/17 19:31:49 EST

Merry Christmas:
Us old folks are just having a quiet day at home.
- guru - Monday, 12/25/17 08:44:08 EST

Merry Christmas!: Ditto the Quiet Day. Once all 4 kids left home and started raising their own families, things tapered off at our house. Now we visit one of them later in the day. Soon we will have great-grandchildren. Do I look old enough to be a great-grandfather?
Loren Tollefson - Monday, 12/25/17 11:21:22 EST

We all live just far enough apart to make it inconvenient to travel - and I cannot travel with Sheri at all.

I'm a minimum of a decade away from great-grandchildren. It only takes a few years per generation to make the difference in seeing great grandchildren.
- guru - Monday, 12/25/17 19:55:23 EST

Here in NM you can be a Great Grand Parent and still not qualify for a senior discount. I turned 61 earlier in December but with a mixed family, my wife is 10 years older than me I could be a Great Grandparent soon, My oldest Grandchild is 17...

Wonderful Christmas. I took the whole week off and we didn't plan to do *anything*! My shop is cleaner than it's been in years; I went to the scrapyard twice (bought a using condition 50# Vulcan for US$20 and was given a pair of tongs. Worked several hours a day at the forge most days. No Christmas tree; only Christmas presents were the ones I forged for my kids and grandkids, marshmallow toasting forks, a small froe, a flying V guitar bottle opener. Taught a 20 year old some forging. Best vacation in *years*!
ThomasP - Tuesday, 01/02/18 20:32:59 EST

I've had a nearly week long Internet and Phone holiday thanks to a CenturyLink employee who unplugged the power wire to our lines at the local relay station. . . That was last Friday evening with a three day holiday following. . . They said someone would fix it Tuesday! Tuesday came and went. So I called repair again. . . "uh someone cancelled the ticket." More likely a buggy year end purge. New repair ticket. . . Wednesday came and went. . . "Tech said he could not access location." - this was an out and out big lie, he didn't try. ANOTHER repair ticket. . . the third!

The repairman asked if this was a new account? No. . . The only time he had seen power supplies left off was on unfinished new installs. . . I said nope, same account for 12 years. I suspect the same slovenly worker who claimed he could access our property. . (UPS, FedEx, the PO AND our garbage service had no trouble on a clear dry day. . .). The guy who fixed it was from a different territory. . .

Happy New year all! And hope you avoid utility troubles. . .
- guru - Thursday, 01/04/18 14:21:58 EST

Its funny, I spend as much or more on gifts for my grandchildren as I did on my children. . . Soon they will be old enough that the gifts will be tools, and more tools. I think I am going to start with hand made tool chests. . .

Years ago I was deep into genealogy. When I started I only knew half my grandparents and a couple great grandparents (we all have 8). It took some research to fill in the next generation. Some had been provided by another family genealogist, others were found by asking questions. My grandmother on my mother's side kept in touch with everyone in her family. . . At the great great (2G) grandparent generation you have 16 grandparents. In royalty you need to know these to meet "The rule of 16". Its harder to do than you think. And just having their names and fates does not mean much. You really need the NEXT generation (3G) to give these folks a "home". That is the generation with 32 grandparents in it. Starting with your parents that is a total of 62 ancestors. Add another generation and its 126. The doubling at each generation is important to remember.

The average generation is 25 years. When you are 25 your great grandparents were born about 100 years earlier. Your 2G grandparents 125 years and the 3G 150 years.

In most genealogies there are lines that go back many generations and others that the information is not available. The long lines are the minority in most large genealogies. 10 to 15 generations is typical but some go many more.

In our family we have several of these 10 to 15 generation lines. On my wife's side there was a laughably researched genealogy that went back 26 generations. . . This takes you to about 1000 AD. Numerically the critical number is the 32,554,432 ancestors (assuming no "close" relations). The estimated population of Europe at that time was 38.5 million. SO, if you are of European decent we really are ALL cousins. . .
- guru - Friday, 01/05/18 05:01:24 EST

Trimming the tree - family - not Christmas:
You don't have to think about the mathematics of the family tree (ancestors doubling every generation as you go back) to realize the theoretical breaks down fairly fast from an historical standpoint.

If at 1000 years or 25 generations the theoretical equals the population of Europe then what happens when you add a generation? The 77 million is way over the available population and if you add another generation or two the 154 to 308 million is approaching the world population of the time and will rapidly exceed it.

The only answer to this mathematical conundrum is "close" relationships including incestuous relationships that are all illegal in most places of the world. While we consider these immoral as well as illegal we would not be here without them. For every close relation we trim a branch off the tree. Over the past 20 thousand years there had to be enough "trimming" of the tree to reduce billions with theoretical trees of trillions to just a few hundred or just two ancestors for the entire world population.

This distasteful state if affairs to modern more's is illustrated in the bible story of Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve, the first people, have two sons. Then the two sons suddenly have wives. . . Where did these wives magically appear from? The bible leaves this unanswered but nature says these were probably the daughters of Adam and Eve. The grandchildren are the first generation that immediate incest is not necessary. But cousins marrying cousins becomes the new norm for many generations. Without these
"close" relations you cannot have population growth.

In "The Real Eve" geneticists trace the history of all Indo-Europeans from one woman that comes out of Africa with a small family group which then populates all the world outside of Africa. But that is another story.
- guru - Sunday, 01/07/18 21:34:27 EST

Dream Inverntions:
Once in a while I dream some really odd things. Last night it was the "Musical Kindling Chopping Stand".

This was a light weight steel table with a series of stretched wires underneath in a harp sequence. You set your small wood on the table and split it with an axe. This resulted in random musical tones.

I didn't say it was a good or useful invention! Just an invention.
- guru - Thursday, 01/11/18 09:22:28 EST

I bet it's useful enough to get a patent (if it isn't anticipated). Good luck licensing it, though.
Mike BR - Thursday, 01/11/18 19:13:31 EST

I'm sure it is original. . .

The patent office is filled with worthless ideas that inventors thought would make them rich simple because it was "new". These are pretty much vanity patents like vanity press books. . .

The patent office is also filled with patents that don't work or serve no purpose. Back when we were working on stepless transmissions we found a class I call "motion or energy wasters". These are open ended gearing with so much reduction they provide resistance (like the fan in a music box). As the speed is changed the wasted motion (and wasted energy) go to changing the speed of the geared down free end.

There are patents for these starting in the 1800's all the way up to the 1970's. Some sort of work but any engineer worth his salt would see that it is just an energy waster.
- guru - Friday, 01/12/18 13:00:27 EST

Membership : Hi, I'm interested in becoming a member and was curious just what I need to do to get it done. Any help here would be much appreciated. Thank you
Adam Webb - Saturday, 01/13/18 01:16:26 EST

New membership: Hi, I'm interested in becoming a member and was curious just how to go about getting this done. Any help here would be much appreciated. Thank you
Adam Webb - Saturday, 01/13/18 01:21:55 EST

Adam, We no longer have a members system. All of anvilfire is free to access to the public. However, we still maintain our old login system so previous members can show their colors and so that I can login as sysop or superuser.

You also do not need to post messages in more than one of our forums.
- guru - Saturday, 01/13/18 07:24:25 EST

You might be a Redneck:
IF your house siding has words all over it (House Wrap).
- guru - Wednesday, 01/17/18 14:04:51 EST

redneck: in New Brunswick you might be a redneck if you live in the basement for years before you build the house. :)
we@nb - Sunday, 01/21/18 16:30:41 EST

Redneck: In Oklahoma, You might be a Redneck if your favorite restaurant has a gas pump in front of it. (Attributed to Jeff Foxworthy). I heard that years ago, but after moving to rural OK, it really is TRUE.
- Loren Tollefson - Monday, 01/22/18 10:42:32 EST

House Wrap: The wif and I used to refer to those as "Tyvek houses." At the end of the great building bubble, some of the local construction stayed like that for years.
Bruce Blackistone Atli - Monday, 01/29/18 12:21:25 EST

When I was a kid we used polyethylene sheeting for camp tarps and building forts (lean-to structures). When building forts it was usually covered with dirt brush and leaves. However, it was (IS) very UV sensitive and breaks down anywhere exposed to sunlight for a length of time. It was also easy to poke holes in and tear it.

If we had used Tyvek I suspect some of our architectural wonders would still be around 50 years later!
- guru - Wednesday, 01/31/18 06:33:49 EST

In Memorium - Sherron Louise Dempsey: December 8, 1940 - January 30, 2018.

Sheri, my loving wife, is survived by 4 children from her first marriage to Jim PawPaw Wilson, 12 grandchildren and a growing number of great grandchildren. Sheri passed away from Alzheimer's like dementia after a decade of sliding down hill.

Sheri was born in Circle Hot Springs the Territory of Alaska. Besides being a housewife and mother Sheri was a dog groomer, seamstress specializing in prom and wedding dresses, a teacher training non-Catholics how to be Catholic, an embroiderer and Hospice volunteer.

One of Sheri's favorite stories from the Hot Springs was sitting on the lap of a high ranking Russian dignitary who was meeting in secret with US dignitaries. The Hot Springs hotel is gone now and so is Sheri.
- guru - Wednesday, 01/31/18 16:28:23 EST

RIP Sheri: You have my sympathy.
- Jan - Wednesday, 01/31/18 17:14:01 EST

Sheri: You have my deepest sympathy in you time of grief.
- Loren Tollefson - Wednesday, 01/31/18 22:59:47 EST

Sheri: Jock I am so sorry to hear of this.
You have been a blessing to Sheri and you can take comfort in that.
I may have met Sheri when you and Jim set up at the Museum of Appalachia festival near Norris years ago. Everyone was so full of life.
I will pray for you and her family.
- TomH - Thursday, 02/01/18 08:24:42 EST

Museum of Appalachia: Yes, That was Sheri. Much better days. Seems like an eternity ago.

I did two demos with Jim at Museum of Appalachia. At the first I was "jet-lagged" due to travel on short notice. I napped on the ground near the trailer and it made things worse.
- guru - Thursday, 02/01/18 12:55:58 EST

Memorial Details for Sheri: A memorial service will be held at 11:00 AM, Mon., Feb. 5, 2018 at Holy Family Catholic Church, 4820 Kinnamon Road, Winston-Salem (Clemmons), NC 27103.

Memorials (in lieu of flowers) may be made to Hospice and Palliative CareCenter 101 Hospice Ln., Winston-Salem, NC 27103.
- guru - Friday, 02/02/18 10:51:26 EST

Sheri: Sorry to hear it, Jock. I remember her the way she was before Alzheimers, and I prefer to keep it that way. I know you do too. Sorry I can't make it over for the memorial.
- Alan-L - Friday, 02/02/18 12:27:44 EST

I will ring my anvil for her this weekend. I am glad her burden is now lifted and am sorrowful for the people she leaves behind.

I had planned to meet PawPaw for the first time at the Quad-State where I ended up giving his Passing Toast.

ThomasP - Friday, 02/02/18 12:29:59 EST

Jock I am so sorry for your loss. Take comfort in memories of her before the decline, and know that you did the very best for her.
- ptree - Friday, 02/02/18 15:47:59 EST

Sorry for your loss... Peace for you and all family....
- Dave Hammer - Monday, 02/05/18 08:14:02 EST

Thank you all. Now I need to plan for a different yet unknown future. First thing is to address my health issues.
- guru - Wednesday, 02/07/18 08:46:35 EST

Trenton Anvil: Hello all,
I just had a family anvil repaired and was hoping to see if anyone with an AIA could tell me its history.

Trenton, 153lb, serial number 106172

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
- Brad S. - Wednesday, 02/07/18 20:12:11 EST

condolences: Dear Jock, So sorry to hear that you have lost Sheri.I have been following anvilfire from the early days and in consequence had developed a high regard for yourself and for PawPaw and Sheri.I wish you all the best. Chris
- Chris E - Saturday, 02/10/18 14:19:58 EST

And this was Spoken From Zophar: When the beast is about to fill his belly God shall cast the fury of his wrath upon him. And shall rain it upon him while he is eating. He shall flee from the Iron Weapon and for this must the annointed Kel~Son use this weapon to strike him through.
- Chrystal Slack - Sunday, 02/11/18 23:42:40 EST

Far out man
- TomH - Wednesday, 02/14/18 16:08:38 EST

Things OUR Government Does. . . :
On the 2nd or 3rd of the month Sheri would receive her Social Security check. Within a week or two it would be spent on groceries. This month the government pulled last months payment from Sheri's account because she died on the 31st of that month. . .

Does the logic of this process make any sense? In most months we would have spent the money and the account would have been empty.
- guru - Saturday, 02/17/18 22:19:54 EST

The Moral to the above:
One, die on the first of the month not the last.

Two, keep the account your SS goes into empty. . .
- guru - Sunday, 02/18/18 09:34:54 EST

OT Vinegar/BakingSoda: Jock, sorry to get off topic but you generally know everything about everything.
I see all kinds of 'hacks' about cleaning, de-rusting, etc., that call for some combination of something like vinegar and baking soda, or other similar blends.
Won't an acid and a salt tend to neutralize each other?
What would be the point?
What am I missing?
- TomH - Sunday, 02/18/18 14:33:55 EST

Tom, are you thinking about the silver detarnishing trick of putting a saturated solution of hot water and baking soda in an aluminum pan? That works well.

Vinegar and baking soda are how you make a science fair volcano. Lots of foam as the soduim bicarbonate neutralizes the acetic acid.
- Alan-L - Tuesday, 02/20/18 12:17:12 EST

Rust removal: rust is removed from ferric products by soaking in a strong black tea solution.
- tjstrobe - Tuesday, 02/20/18 13:25:09 EST

vinegar hacks: I'm just wondering what would be the advantage of combining an acid and a salt for anything (other than salad dressing).
I see a lot of cleaning hacks on the internet and I know you can't put anything on those interwebs if its not true.
Are these people just 'making it up'?
- TomH - Tuesday, 02/20/18 20:22:15 EST

*Salt* (table salt) won't neutralize the vinegar, and it might make some difference in cleaning. When I was little, I made a paste of salt and vinegar and put it on the brass hardware on some windows. Corroded the snot out of them. If nothing else, the fact that it was a paste held the vinegar against the brass.

Mixing salt and *baking soda* just creates a lot of bubbles and sodium acetate. From what I could find, sodium acetate is great for flavoring potato chips, but not for cleaning.
Mike BR - Tuesday, 02/20/18 20:40:42 EST

Rust Removal:
There are all kinds of rust removal and the method used depends on the object and how rusty. The tea method is used for lightly rusted smooth surfaced (precision) items - combined with scrubbing.

Yes, I've seen the soda and vinegar recipes. . . IDIOTS! These item neutralize each other leaving mostly salts. Vinegar and salt is used as a scrubbing solution.

The most efficient rust removal is in an electrolytic bath. A low voltage DC power source (12 or 5V - fast/slow)). Old computer power supplies work well - so do battery chargers.

KOH (Arm and Hammer Washing Soda - I think) is used in water as an electrolyte. You will need a plastic tank and steel plates for electrodes (the positive side). The part will lay or hang in the tank connected to the negative side of the circuit.

Electrolysis should be done outdoors due to the gases given off. If use on delicate parts DO NOT leave over night. Keep an eye on the process.

You can use phosphoric acid (Ospho) to convert rust to black oxide as a paint pre-prep.
- guru - Tuesday, 02/20/18 20:48:28 EST

Washing soda is sodium carbonate, KOH(potassium hydroxide)is lye. Ordinary salt works for the electrolyte as well.

I used to do electrolysis on small artifacts in the archaeology lab at the university I attended long ago. Small artifact = small tank, often a coffee mug or a 16 oz. plastic cup. Over the course of the process the water tends to get a sort of scum on top, which in turn makes the gases Jock mentioned form large-ish bubbles.

These gases are oxygen and hydrogen. You'd be amazed how quickly you get the attention of an entire lab by touching a lit match to a golf-ball-sized bubble of pure hydrogen... not that I ever did that, of course, that would be juvenile and irresponsible. Harrumph.
Alan-L - Wednesday, 02/21/18 10:57:41 EST

KOH: KOH is potassium hydroxide (akin to lye, which is sodium hydroxide). Washing soda is hydrated sodium carbonate; soda ash is the same compound minus the water. Both are much less corrosive than the hydroxide.
- Jan - Wednesday, 02/21/18 11:06:09 EST

Electrolisis Gases:
When using salt you can get chlorine gas. You only need one snootful of that to never want to again! I was about 12 years old when I made chlorine in my basement workshop. . .

I experimented with both AC and DC electrolysis.
- guru - Thursday, 02/22/18 04:03:40 EST

Derusting and Drill Bits:
Years ago we had an alkaline product in our shop called Oakite. It eats rust (and paint) and some base metal.

I made the mistake of putting my life long collection of misc drill bits in the solution and leaving them overnight. . . A few minutes might have been OK. But the heavy black coating on drill bits is an oxide. What remained in the morning was skeletal remains of my drill bits. . .

The only good thing that came of this is that I was forced to purchase a new, full index of drill bits. This was a Sears fractional set in 1/16ths to 1/2".
It was the first of several, the next being a number size index and the last being a letter size. Beyond that I've collected bits over 1/2" as needed.

Then, while purchasing a drill press I picked up a windfall collection of bits ranging from 1-1/8" to 2". Others at the auction had sneered at the dirty collection and discounted it as having no value. It was in fact worth much more than the drill press sold for. When I went to clean the bits a year later I found that the dirt was merely shop dust and gradue that collected on the well oiled bits. There was also various Morse adapter sleeves and rough chucks.

All this starting from a mistake leaving my drill bits in Oakite overnight. . .
- guru - Thursday, 02/22/18 13:39:01 EST

More Rust Reemoval:
Saw this one on youTube. Molassas 10:1 with water. This is a very slow rust remover, 2 to 4 weeks in the bath. Then, rinse, scrub clean and then neutralize with baking soda (another rinse). Oil or paint ASAP.
- guru - Friday, 02/23/18 19:19:55 EST

You wouldn't expect molasses to be fast . . .
Mike BR - Friday, 02/23/18 19:31:12 EST

Sticking piston in Rivet Hammer: I have a Chicago Pneumatic 6A Aero Riveter. Th piston has started sticking in the “out”/power position. I can knock it back, but that’s a pain. I’m guessing I need to take it apart to fix it, although wondered if soaking with liquid wrench and then re oiling might do the trick
- Jim Smith - Friday, 02/23/18 22:45:19 EST

Slow Molasses:
Ha ha ha ha. . .

Jim You do not need to post on more than one of our forums. Answered on the gurus den.
- guru - Saturday, 02/24/18 05:18:32 EST

Human Diet:
"You don't need to sneak up on a Strawberry", Attributed to Richard Leakey (on humans not naturally being carnivores).
- guru - Wednesday, 02/28/18 00:32:19 EST

Strawberries on your soylent green? How Nouvelle cuisine!
ThomasP - Saturday, 03/03/18 23:11:02 EST

Pax Vobiscum: I have been running far behind due to limited data access. My deepest sympathy on the loss of Sheri.
Bruce Blackistone Atli - Sunday, 03/04/18 16:01:40 EST

Movies - The Greatest Showman:
Generally I am not crazy about modern musicals. But "The Greatest Showman", a fictionalized (and romanticized) version of P.T. Barnum's story is a great bit of entertainment. It is one of those movies I will probably watch more than once.

If you can see it in a theater on the "big screen" it will be worth it.
- guru - Sunday, 03/04/18 21:39:54 EST

Greatest Showman: Both I, and my handicapped daughter, Amanda, enjoyed it. We have bi-weekly "pizza and movie" nights, and it's a treat when we enjoy the same movies. I get to see her animation favorites, and she likes my (not-too-violent) adventure movies.

We recently caught Peter Rabbit- to her it was a fuzzy bunny movie with a light romantic comedy attached, and to me it was a light romantic comedy with fuzzy bunnies attached. The CGI has gotten to the state where if a rabbit in a blue coat came up to me in the street, I would hardly be surprised.
Bruce Blackistone Atli - Thursday, 03/08/18 13:51:22 EST

Got a new vice wife groans: Got a new post vice. 6" jaws, complete and in great shape, probably American made (lighter than the equivalent English vice when compared on the Peter Wright vice weight chart), it is stamped "1903" and "80" [lbs] on the movable jaw. It has the same overall shape as my mounted post vice, which is stamped "1901" and "55". No other markings. Same maker? They made them by the ton and cut them off by the pound.

Any idea on the maker, beside "who knows?" Real nice lines on both, look like my old Peter Wright post vice. Thanx

A man can never have too many vices (wife groans again and rolls her eyes)

David Hughes, pouring rain in CA
- David Hughes - Tuesday, 03/13/18 12:58:21 EDT

I have a bunch of the reference material Richard Postman used for his book and have gone through most of it and leg vise ads were rare and many treated them as they do in catalogs - as a commodity with no parentage.

Every shop needs many work benches and every bench needs a vise.

Like anvils, they don't make them that way anymore. Currently leg vise are selling under value. Folks finally realized the value of old bench vises and the prices have skyrocketed.
- guru - Wednesday, 03/14/18 10:44:12 EDT

Ornamental Iron Worker: Today's cartoon reminded me of how I got into this trade. June 1969 I had just finished my second year of Junior college and was headed for Arizona State University. I was going to work for the summer at the college as a groundskeeper. I showed up on Monday morning at 8:00 as requested, but the first 6 guys got the jobs, as they had shown up early. The rest of us were out of luck. That night I talked to my Father-in-law and he had just had a call from a former student of his who now owned a small ornamental iron business and was looking for someone to learn the trade. I had a friends father give me a 2 hour lesson on how to run a bead and some practice. I started the next Monday, and worked there for 3 years. All we had were Lincoln buzz box AC welders and 6011 1/8" rod to weld 16ga.
tubing. I got very proficient doing that. During my tenure, we got a job forging pointed pickets for fence panels, and bending scrolls using a Hossfeld #2. I eventually quit school and wound up in the structural and miscellaneous business, culminating in a partnership where we were doing $5,000,000 a year, and I was drinking my lunch. In 1989 I stumbled upon a building in the mountains of Arizona that was for rent and the owner was looking for a blacksmith to rent it. I made lists of what equipment I would need, possible products, etc. After a month I went back, struck a deal and as Caesar said, "Alia Iacta Est". I walked awayfrom the steel business, giving it to my partner, told the Kids, 18,20, and 21 they needed to find a new place to live, and sold the house in 3 days. I never looked back. About the 3d week I was open A guy dropped in to see what it was all about, and he was building a cabin in town . He was a blacksmith who worked full time for General Motors Proving Grounds. His name---Ron Kinyon. And they say, the rest is history.
- Loren Tollefson - Tuesday, 03/20/18 10:19:42 EDT

I have reprints of the 1897, 1905 and 1908 Sears Roebuck catalogs and in the 1905 one they sold screw/screwboxes for postvises! Note the screw/screw box for a 4" vise was around US$2.90 while the vise was $3.29

I'm always amused when folks say their vise must be made by XYZ because the screw/screwbox is marked. Shoot I've replaced bad ones with different good ones myself!
- ThomasP - Wednesday, 03/21/18 23:03:19 EDT

Do the catalogs show shipping costs? Maybe that made the screw/box a better deal than it looks like from the straight prices.

Of course most modern blacksmith shops I've seen don't really have room for a an extra vise body, no matter how cheap. But come to think of it, that wouldn't stop many of the blacksmiths I know. . .
Mike BR - Thursday, 03/22/18 19:25:20 EDT

I have a 1950 hardware catalog that lists screws and boxes for $8 for small vises and $23 for large leg vises. Vises were 4 to 6 times as much as the box and screws.

I put together a vise with parts from 4 different sources. Sadly, the screw was bad. . It would tighten at the closing point but slips at 1/2" to 1" opening (the common working range).

Its a very old ~30 lb. vise I picked up for $5 stripped. The screw came out of another cheap mangled vise. The drop forged bench bracket (much later than the vise) was in a bunch of junk at an Iron Monger's. And I made the spring. Eventually I will repair the screw as I have almost nothing in the vise.
- guru - Thursday, 03/22/18 22:26:55 EDT

The catalogs have page after page on shipping cost info dealing with mail, freight, express, COD, etc.
Based on weight generally with a minimum allowable charge based on type. Includes charges broken down by state and Indian Territory (Oklahoma wasn't a state yet...)
- ThomasP - Saturday, 03/24/18 16:43:21 EDT

Many catalogs are not only a list of items and prices but great engineering references. They often have formulas and tables for applying the items in the catalog.

This used to be the "standard" for engineering parts catalogs but modern makers have largely dropped much of this information. But others such as Omega have expanded on proving applications information. So for many products old catalogs are often the best as references.

This information is often distilled down into engineering references such as MACHINERYS' HANDBOOK, Mark's Mechanical Engineer's Handbook, and Tool Engineers Handbook. However, the advantage of the original source material is that it is often more complete including drawings, diagrams and a more verbose applications articles.

- guru - Tuesday, 04/03/18 22:55:12 EDT

NEED AN APPRENTICE? : Hello there my name is Paul Main im 20 years old . I was taught by frank turley and am now seeking a master blacksmith that needs an apprentice i will work for whatever works for you i just want out of kansast if you in usa give me a call if you’re interested at (620)-282-8358
- Paul H Main - Monday, 05/07/18 22:47:34 EDT

Blacksmiths Are Coming:
Blacksmiths are coming to Meadow Event Park from Wednesday June 27 though Saturday June 30. This is the biannual gathering of the national group, Artist Blacksmith Association of North America. The conference is a visual delight with men and women heating iron from red hot to nearly 3,000 degrees and hammering sculpture, furniture, knives and other items of delight. Large powerful hammers and presses that shape the metal will be on site for a spectacular show.

A total of 12 tents will be set up with more tools than you can imagine. Demonstrators include some of the finest smiths in America and Europe. One area is dedicated to knife making, another to farriers and a third is teaching tents where beginners and novices can try a hand at forging under the supervision of experienced teachers.

In conjunction with the conference, there will be a month-long exhibit of fine ironwork held at Flux Gallery in Ashland, MD At the end of the conference, on Saturday night, there will be an auction to benefit the education of carrying on this ancient tradition. All work produced at the conference and many works of art created by smiths coming from around the world will be sold to the highest bidder. In the past conference, folk have walked away with wonderful works of art at reasonable prices.

For those of the public who have been inspired by perhaps the TV show Forged In Fire, or a visit to the Williamsburg smithy; they can register both online or in person at the fairgrounds for either the whole week or by the day!event-register/2018/6/27/2018-abana-conference

If you are curious about this old American form of art, you can attend a tour of the conference and stay for the auction to bring something wonderful home. The Saturday afternoon tour and evening auction are free to the public.

Artist Blacksmith Association of North America (ABANA)
Meadow Event Park from June 27 though June 30.
CONTACT Craig Kaviar ABANA Vice President 502-938-6762
- guru - Saturday, 05/26/18 10:39:38 EDT

Travel Warning for the ABANA conference:
This is NOT a bucolic area such as you might be from. Treat it like you are in the worst inner city area you can think of.

While the conference location is just as beautiful as the rest of my beloved Virginia it is also one of the worst places to spend time. The I95 corridor between Washington DC and Richmond is one of the busiest roads in the US. It is also poorly served by rest stops and other services. It is very touristy at the conference and Kings Dominion exit AND is a very high crime area.

LOCK your cars, don't leave any valuables visible.
Button your pockets and keep your wallet tight. Beware where you use your credit cards and be sure to check their activity when you get home. Mine have been hijacked twice in this area.

You should be safe and be able to relax on the conference site but beware elsewhere. Don't let an unfortunate incident mar your great time at the conference.

MOTELS: One of the local motels, La Quinta was fully booked yesterday and the other only had 3 rooms remaining. If your plans included staying in a nearby motel it may be too late.
- guru - Monday, 05/28/18 15:56:07 EDT

Incongruity of Nature:
A pairing that seems completely out of place is the volcanic inferno in Hawaii and the sound of tree frogs or spring peepers in the background. . .
- guru - Tuesday, 05/29/18 19:04:29 EDT

Incongruity of Nature:
Now, those poor little Hawaiian frogs have freezing rain to deal with. . . Freezing rain in Hawaii due to volcanoes
- guru - Saturday, 06/09/18 17:54:31 EDT

Anti Gun Laws:
IF you think the anti-gun anti 2nd ammendment people do not affect you consider these. . .

In California they tried to pass a law against flame throwers (yeah, apparently they have a high flame thrower crime rate in California). The law was written such that it would BAN common welding torches. . . A little close to home eh'? Next thing you know you will have to get a permit to own a cutting torch.

In England they have high knife crime (if you can't get a gun, use a knife). One judge suggested filing down knives so they wouldn't be so dangerous. I guess he has someone chew his steak for him. . . SO, as blacksmiths will be still be allowed to forge a point?

Think about it. Do gooders trying to stop violence with stupid laws that may inadvertently hurt your blacksmithing business.
- guru - Saturday, 06/09/18 18:36:11 EDT

Black Anvil: I just aquired a well used anvil. It has the word "BLACK" stamped on the side. I can also make out a "P" but nothing else. It's 27" long and 11" high.
I was hoping someone here might know who manufactured it and about how old it is. TIA.
Here are some pics.
Anvil Pictures
Ron Laughlin - Tuesday, 06/12/18 19:53:35 EDT

Ron, your link is broken You may send me the photos
- guru - Wednesday, 06/13/18 18:55:06 EDT

International Ceramics Products