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THIS is a forum for questions and answers about blacksmithing and general metalworking. Ask the Guru any reasonable question and he or one of his helpers will answer your question, find someone that can, OR research the question for you. This is an archive of posts from June 21 - 30, 2001 on the Guru's Den
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Add John Deere and McCormick to the list. Woodrow Wilson's grandfather.
At some point in time, President Dwight David Eisenhower's family were Iron Carvers, (Eisen = Iron and Hower = Hewer or carver) Same kind of work that Ward Grossman does.


Be careful! (grin)
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Thursday, 06/21/01 01:16:23 GMT


and that is spelled

SERGEANT not sargent. Sargent is a type of padlock! (grin)
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Thursday, 06/21/01 02:19:09 GMT

Do you know where I could find information about a Champion Forge & Blower. We have a coal burning forge with a patented date of 1902. I was wondering what it would be worth today. Your help is appreciated.
Val  <hyatt at midrivers.com> - Thursday, 06/21/01 02:37:37 GMT

Brass: Larry, "Brass" is Copper and Zinc. "Bronze" is Copper and Tin. Like brass the high copper bronzes are the most forgable. "Guilding Bronze" is similar to one of the more forgable bronzes.

When shiney brass looks very gold in color. Bronze looks more coppery. When well oxidized or patinaed they both have a very similar green.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 06/21/01 02:46:09 GMT

Thanks Guru. I'll try that when the weather gets nice again. It's all rainy over here in North East Ohio, and I have to wait until my forge dries out. It's supposed to rain tomorrow too... Just my bad luck. Thanks again for the info.

Alan, I haven't got any books of my own on smithing, but I frequently take them out of my local library. Surprisingly, they're pretty helpful. Anvilfire really helped me out a great deal too. I will look into those books you recommended. Thanks again.

One more thing, I have a question about a grinding wheel.

An old woman who lives next door to me gave me a small 1/8 hp grinding wheel that had belonged to her husband, who worked for Lincoln Electric. It looks like it's 50 or more years old. Well, it had two wheels, a wire brush and a really rough grinder that is brown in color and looks like there are diamonds embedded into it. It works great for serious grinding. Well the problem is that it's wearing down now, and soon Iíll need a new one. I checked my local hardware stores (Sears, DIY, Home Depot) and all I can find is a fine grayish grinding wheel called an "Alundum". It's OK for finer grinding, but I need a tougher grinder for heavier jobs.

Does anybody have any idea what that particular type of grinder is called and where I can get a new one? Much appreciated. Thanks.
Robert  <Robert29b at aol.com> - Thursday, 06/21/01 05:01:13 GMT

you can try ENCO, MCS, McMaster&Carr any one of these will have a full line of grinding weels in a allmost any grit. most local hardware stores only cary the finer weels that are used for tool sharping.
what you will need to know is the RPM that your grinder spins at (it is very dangeris to use a weel that isn't made for the RPM under is OK but over can be deadly) this should be marked some were on the caseing, the sise of your arbor (the shaft it is mounted on) and the over all sise of a new weel (6" 8" 10" and 12" are the most comin sises) and the 3 grit you want (remember that the lower the grit the faster it will cut) be carefull to course of a weel requires more power (at least in my experance)
some things you need to know about monting new weels ALLWAYS replace the card board/ paper pads on the flanges never over titein the monting nuts and check the "ring " after you install the new weel. checking the ring meens that after the new weel in on tap it (lightly) w/a small wrench it should have a dull ring turn the weel and check it again if there is a crack the ring will change pitch or sound "flat" if this happens take the weel off and throw it out (or return it)hope this helps
PS sorry about the spelling it's late and my mind is about done
MP  <swordmatt at yahoo.com> - Thursday, 06/21/01 05:40:05 GMT

Grinder: Robert, MP covered it pretty well. If you remove the wheel the paper washer MAY have the wheel spcs on it.

Fast cutting wheels also wear out rapidly. However, it is almost always more cost effective to use a fast wheel.

To reitterate two of MP's points. Be very careful about installing oversized wheels (they wear out the grinder) and be carefull that they are properly rated. Most bench grinders run 3600 RPM. Be sure the wheels you purchase are rated for the machine or faster.

The "ring" test MP speaks of works on some wheels but not all. Balance the wheel lightly on your finger through the hole in the wheel. The tap it gently sideways near the edge with a screw driver handle or something soft. It should ring without any buzzing noise (indicating a crack). After installing the wheel (with the paper washers), start the grinder and let it run for 5 or 10 minutes. Stay out of line of the wheel.

Most wheels run out and vibrate. Dress the wheel with a "star" wheel dresser or a diamond. Mounted industrial dressing diamonds are the best method and are very affordable (approx $25 US). A smooth wheel will produce a smooth surface.

Wear those safety glasses!
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 06/21/01 06:05:49 GMT

I've always known where I live on the spelling curve but if I had a choice between mispelling sarg. or addressing one as "Sir", I know enough to err on the side of spelling.
Have fun,
L.Sundstrom  <lsundstrom at augustamed.com> - Thursday, 06/21/01 12:58:03 GMT

Ticklish question because you would never contradict manufacturers recommendations but my children got tried of hearing me talk about burning out 5 HP 3 phase motors on my old air compressor so they bought me a brand new one for father's day. I can't figure out why they choose a model with wheels....anyway, the directions that come with it say to turn it off and bleed it down to 20 psi every day. To me it seems like a waste of gas. Do you know anyone who does this?
L.Sundstrom  <lsundstrom at augustamed.com> - Thursday, 06/21/01 13:18:13 GMT


re: sarge (grin)

Draining the compressor allows the condensate to blow out of the tank. Helps lengthen the tank life.
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Thursday, 06/21/01 13:35:49 GMT

Larry S., Last time I heard California WAS part of the U.S. but after the last election Bush and co. seem to have declared war on this third world country. Personally, I'm sick of the whole lot. TC
Tim Cisneros  <blacksmith at theforgeworks.com> - Thursday, 06/21/01 13:38:07 GMT


The folks in the People Republic of California seem to want to californicate the rest of the country. I will add that the folks in the northern part of the state seem to have their heads on pretty straight. Must be something in the southern california coastal air.
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Thursday, 06/21/01 14:35:41 GMT

Air Compressor: Larry, I never heard this one. The only thing I can figure it they KNOW its going to leak and they don't want you finding out. It may also be a libility issue. If it has no air pressure there is no possibility of a child doing something foolish with the pressurized air. Compressed air applied to any body orrifice is generaly lethal (air embolisms). If this is the case then it is fools logic. I don't think there is a 5 year old in the US that doesn't know how to plug in an appliance and operate the switch.

On the other hand. IF it does leak (or any of the attached hoses or nozzels) then all it has to do is pump up twice from the autostart point to equal starting from scratch. So in that case it may be an energy SAVING recommendation rather than a "waste of gas".

I always left mine plugged in an running. Nothing like a compressor coming on at 3:00am to scare the you know what out of an intruder (OR you, until you get used to it). One that comes on at regular intervals can impact your electric bill.

I wouldn't bleed off the tank except occasionaly to get the water out.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 06/21/01 14:49:43 GMT

Air Compressor: Larry, I never heard this one. The only thing I can figure it they KNOW its going to leak and they don't want you finding out. It may also be a libility issue. If it has no air pressure there is no possibility of a child doing something foolish with the pressurized air. Compressed air applied to any body orrifice is generaly lethal (air embolisms). If this is the case then it is fools logic. I don't think there is a 5 year old in the US that doesn't know how to plug in an appliance and operate the switch.

On the other hand. IF it does leak (or any of the attached hoses or nozzels) then all it has to do is pump up twice from the autostart point to equal starting from scratch. So in that case it may be an energy SAVING recommendation rather than a "waste of gas".

I always left mine plugged in an running. Nothing like a compressor coming on at 3:00am to scare the you know what out of an intruder (OR you, until you get used to it). One that comes on at regular intervals can impact your electric bill.

I wouldn't bleed off the tank except occasionaly to get the water out.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 06/21/01 14:50:11 GMT

Val: As I'm sure someone else will say, there is almost no such thing as an antique tool to a blacksmith. Most of us regularly use tools that are 150 or more years old. So, your forge has more value as a usable piece of equipment than as an antique. However, we need more information about it to take a guess at value. How big is it? Does the blower work freely? Is it cracked, rusted out, or otherwise damaged? What does it look like? Champion made many different models of forges and blowers in many sizes and shapes.

Robert: There are a lot of blacksmiths in Ohio, you should hook up with one! You will learn more from spending a day with an experienced smith than you will from reading books for a year. Look at www.abana-chapter.com and find the list of groups near you.
Alan-L  <longmire at premiernet.net> - Thursday, 06/21/01 14:53:03 GMT

Robert, Check out www.wraba.com We are a large blacksmithing club on the east side of Cleveland with over 100 members. We regularly meet at a member's shop every month & we meet in Burton at Century Village for all their shows. There is one this weekend there we will be at. Stop by if you can. We are also having our 2nd annual Blacksmithing in the Village there on June 30th & July 1st. We are having 2 demonstrators & some hands on & tool sales. Hope to see you around soon.
Mike Roth  <emeraldisleforge at yahoo.com> - Thursday, 06/21/01 15:39:44 GMT

Paw Paw, I must object to your view that here in the PRoC that thems upin north are the ones that have their heads on straight! Down here in the South, we look north at those *&%*$ in San Fransiskie an Sackrementoe and wonder just what they could possibly be thinkin!
It don't seem like they have the good sence God gave a fly! Evein a fly knows what a pile is, thats green, smells and is under the back end of a horse. Those guys up north probably would try to make one of those thar health food salids outn of it!
Wayne Parris  <benthar at pacbell.net> - Thursday, 06/21/01 17:53:35 GMT


Didn't mean to irritate you, but those guys up north are just into re-cycling! (grin)
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Thursday, 06/21/01 18:39:05 GMT

does anyone here has experiance whit an outdoor forge (undel a shelter)??? mail me please , cause I have exaims so I can't check to forum everry day....
Johannes  <johannes at mine.be> - Thursday, 06/21/01 18:50:25 GMT

I seem to remember a post about Arm & Hammer anvils but I'll be darned if I can Find It in the archives. Anyway can someone give me some info on the background and quality of them, Thanks .......Bob
Bob  <bbeck at losch.net> - Thursday, 06/21/01 19:01:37 GMT

Outdoor forge: Same as indoors except the wind blowing sparks in your face. And up your sleeves. And up your pants, if you are really lowtec with the forge on ground level.
Olle Andersson  <utgaardaolle at ebox.tninet.se> - Thursday, 06/21/01 19:34:31 GMT

I have one of those anvils and Postmans book. Email me and I will help you out with anything you need to know.

Paw Paw;
Dag Knabbit, I forgot to put a GIANT GRIN on that post! No irritation was recieved and I hope none given! (big grin)
Wayne Parris  <benthar at pacbell.net> - Thursday, 06/21/01 20:11:55 GMT

First let me thank and commend you for this great site, it is really a wealth of knowledge and inspiration!
I have two questions for you, if you can help me?
first " Im planning on building another forge, of course bigger and hopefully better, Im thinking obout a genuine firepot from centaur forge can you tell me which works better, a round or square (rectangle?) one.
Secondly i've come upon the idea to forge some smithing tools (fullers etc.) from old wood splitting wedges, as these are mushroomed should this be cut off or can the end be dressed up with a hammer? Thanks again for your time.
Jeff  <Breezewayforge at Hotmail.com> - Thursday, 06/21/01 20:22:15 GMT

Guru: Just one quick question, I was just watching an old war movie and it involved a submarine crew. the sub took some damage and in the next scene they were working on it under water with a cutting torch. I was just wondering if you could really get a torch to work under water.

Mike  <mcruder at aol.com> - Thursday, 06/21/01 20:58:46 GMT

Wedges: Jeff, Check the steel (spark test and sample hardening) as these are probably mild steel.

Any tool that has mushrooming need to have it cut off and the tool dressed until the cracks do not show. If you are using a HD angle grinder the cracks will show as rainbow colored traces from the temper coloring due to heat.

Round or square doesn't make a big difference in fire pots. Rectangulat lets you spread the fire linearly for longer heats.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 06/21/01 21:18:00 GMT

Underwater Torch: Mike, They make special Oxy-Hydrogen torches for underwater work.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 06/21/01 21:19:27 GMT

Wayne, could be PPW was drawing the North South line above SF.....
Any way I think those of us in Oregon would be willing to adopt those right thinking folks NOrth of SF...?
Ralph  <ralphd at jps.net> - Thursday, 06/21/01 21:20:39 GMT

Mike yes they do have underwater torches. But since I have not looked at one up close in about a zillion years I can not say how they differ....
Ralph  <ralphd at jps.net> - Thursday, 06/21/01 21:23:52 GMT

Arm and Hammer anvils.

According to Richard Postman:

"The Arm and Hammer Anvil was produced by the Columbus Anvil and Forging Company of Columbus, Ohio between the years 1900 and 1950."

"From my perspective today, the Arm and Hammer anvil was undoubtedly one of the finest wrought anvils ever manufactured anywhere."

Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Thursday, 06/21/01 21:25:27 GMT


You're right, I was. Not sure exactly where, but JJ is north of the line, and so are several others. (grin)
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Thursday, 06/21/01 21:26:49 GMT

Paw Paw,
Take a south california native, run him throught the trinity alps (North California), and sent him to Virginia for about 20 years and you might end up with something.

Jock et all,
Thanks for the honesty on the compressor issue. I sorta thought it was a company face saver.
Q#2 on compressors: What are the wheels for? and also, seriosly, I T'ed into my old compressor tank which has a cut off valve. So I store 2x the air at the same pressure. I can't see where this would hurt anything, do you?

I sent Jock pictures of an out-door forge I made. It has a 3 foot long 8" peice of smoke pipe mounted on a pivot so you can swing it 360, over the fire for smoke/spark/heat clearance or away from the fire pot so you can have free access to the fire and fire pot for cleaning it out and working odd shaped peices. It really does make a big difference in consumable smoke. It sits about 2-3 inches above the top of the burning coal and really sucks up the smoke. By the time smoke gets up the pipe it has enough height and velosity to clear your face and stay out of your pockets. It is of course absolutely worthless indoors, but then it wasn't built to be used indoors. It's also portable. If I were building an outdoor forge that I didn't want to be able to move around I would follow Jock's advice fo a side draft mile high smoke stack. I have built several forges, made many alterations and eaten lots of smoke. I've tried hoods and fans and carbon monoxide detectors and they don't work. This swing arm smoke stack is the next best thing to a real well designed indoor side draft cadillac. I ain't braggin either. Braggin would be to say you came up with something that works the first time you tried. If I hadn't made so many mistakes I wouldn't be so suprised when something finally works.
Keep trying,
L.Sundstrom  <lsundstrom at augustamed.com> - Thursday, 06/21/01 21:39:56 GMT

Paw Paw, A friend asked me about a Vulcan anvil. I'm not familiar with that brand. Any info is appreciated.
Steve Rutterbush  <Hammerdown Forge> - Thursday, 06/21/01 22:45:27 GMT

Larry's Forge: Will post in the new edition of the NEWS that should be on-line next week.

Twice the volume means longer times between the compressor running but also means the compressor will run longer when it is run. On one hand this gives the air time to dry out while on the other hand there will be hotter air after a long period of running. The only gain is if you lose power.
The down side is that the compressor has a "duty cycle". Most are rated at 50% or less but do not tell you. If the tank is sized so that the compressor runs 50% of the time at the rated draw then the tank is sized perfectly. However, most "home shop" compressors do not have a published duty cycle rating and may or may not be sized accordingly. Often the rated CFM is with the compressor running 100% of the time without regard to duty cycle or life of the machine.

Wheels make it "portable". Fixed machinery has different wiring requirements than portable equipment. Fixed machinery must meet the electrical code where portable machinery must only meet UL which may or may not have tested the actual model that has the UL label. UL is NOT a government entity and misuse of their labeling may be decietful but there is little law behind it. Companies that have approval on one product may change the product or apply the label to another and it is difficult if not impossible to determine. On the other hand the US government accepts UL approval as meaning "safe". HA!
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 06/21/01 23:54:52 GMT


He'd never make it through the Alps. The natives would have him for breakfast.


Vulcan was made by the Illinois Iron and Bolt Co. in Carpentersville, Ill. from about 1875 until about 1969. It is a steel faced, cast iron anvil.

Postman rates it slightly higher than the plain cast iron anvils, but below all of the wrought anvils.
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Friday, 06/22/01 00:12:25 GMT

Et al, The problem is...My shop's in Oakland, I live in SOUTH San Francisco, My wife's from Los Angeles and I was born in Boston. Not sure where that leaves me but it ain't North of San Francisco. TC
Tim Cisneros  <blacksmith at theforgeworks.com> - Friday, 06/22/01 00:13:56 GMT


You're the exception that proves the rule! (grin)
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Friday, 06/22/01 00:32:27 GMT

My grinding wheel is small, so it's only 1725 RPM. I always wear heavy gloves and shatter resistant glasses when I use it. It's somewhat unsafe because, like I said, it is very old and does not have a guard on it. That can be a problem with the wire brush because I frequently get wires in my clothes. It really hurts to have on embedded in your foot of chest too!


I'm sure you've heard of thermite (Approx 75% Iron Oxide, 15% Aluminum). Well, I was wondering if it could be used to quickly heat up an iron for forging. Could this be possible if it was spread over a piece of iron and ignited with a magnesium ribbon? Since it burns in excess of 5000 F, is it possible to get the iron red hot?
Robert  <Robert29b at aol.com> - Friday, 06/22/01 01:20:50 GMT

I have a picture of my forge that I could attach to an e-mail if you wanted to give me your e-mail address etc. It is not damaged in any way but might be a little rusted. The blower does work freely. Thanks for your help.
Val  <hyatt at midrivers.com> - Friday, 06/22/01 01:22:40 GMT

While I am waiting patiently for the Guru to answer my question about S7, I can't resist being pedantic.

An exception cannot prove a rule. On the contrary an exception undermines a rule and may even DISprove it. This saying is a hangover from the days when "prove" meant "test" as in "proving grounds". It is correct to say "The exception tests the rule"

OK I feel better now - thanks. :)
adam  <adam at whiteson.org> - Friday, 06/22/01 01:47:09 GMT

Paw Paw,

Ever played with "thermite". No responce needed for me,Sarge...Serge...Sir... Mr. Wilson. (grin)
Steve Rutterbush  <Hammerdown Forge> - Friday, 06/22/01 01:49:49 GMT


MAKE a guard for it! You won't regret it, believe me.

There is a product on the market called CADWELD. It is a thermite like combination that when ignited makes weld joints without a welder. Just the heat from the CADWELD. It's possible to do more than get iron red hot. A36, structural steel, mild steel, what ever burns at approximately 2700 degree's farenheight.


Ok, ok! (grin)


You already know the answer to that one!

You're REALLY trying to get in trouble, aren't you Dennis? (grin)
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Friday, 06/22/01 01:59:37 GMT


Being new to blacksmithing (and somewhat of a tool junkie), I am always trying to pick up a new hammer or two. I recently bought a flatter that is marked Heller U.S.A with the horse logo. It appears to be brand new and never used. I have a Heller driving hammer and know that you can still buy them from Centaur Forge, but they don't offer any other Heller tools in their catalog. My question is, does Heller still make tools and if so who distributes them?
Mike Gillespie  <gillespiemike at hotmail.com> - Friday, 06/22/01 02:25:06 GMT

I made my biggest step yet toward getting into blacksmithing. I have been slowly working on accumulating the tools I need but today I took a plunge. I filled out an application for a part-time apprenticeship with Hamilton Iron Works. They do decorative ironwork and structural steel. They also do restorations. I'm really excited and hope that they will teach me. I was impressed by their stockpile of old castings which they cut up to use in making new pieces.

I had no intention of filling out an application when I went into their shop. I was just checking the price on some plate steel that I want for making a work bench. I wanted 3'x4'x3/4" steel plate but the price was shocking $350. I think that I need to find a cheaper way to make a table to mount my heavy vise on. Maybe I will use several timbers for the table top with a steel veneer. Maybe just 1/4" thick.
Andrew  <bornman at bnin.net> - Friday, 06/22/01 02:59:32 GMT

Robert - I have no experience with Thermite, but 5000 degrees Fahrenheit is way over the burning range of steel. You could probably use it to heat *LARGE* pieces of metal, but are you really needing to heat anvil-sized chunks? The army has manuals on welding with the stuff, but it was heavy rail. Any normal sized piece will be consumed.

California - My dad is a heavy haul truck driver. All of a sudden they are taking many loads of electric plant parts into California. Decided they might need to make some electricity on their own and not have to depend on those evil, greedy, unsympathetic business from down here in Texas! ;-)
Stormcrow  <jbhelm at worldnet.att.netSPAMSTINKS> - Friday, 06/22/01 03:25:24 GMT

Possible S7: Adam, You have two choices, laboratory analysis or LOTS of trial and error. This would include sample hardness testing, tensile testing and notch impact resistance testing. After all that you MIGHT be able to say it was an S series tool steel. Only the (expensive) laboratory analysis would tell you for sure.

Using scrap is a gamble. Manufacturers use what they want or is available. Scrap alloy lists are just approximations that give you a starting point for trial and error testing.

- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 06/22/01 04:04:13 GMT

Thermite: Have you considered the cost or priced any? You could burn paper money in your forge too (and probably get better results).
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 06/22/01 04:05:43 GMT

Andrew, That is about the right price for that piece of plate. Keep looking you may come across a piece of scrap. I used a 3 foot square piece of 1" thick plate to build my welding bench. I think I invested a total of $800 in new steel when I built it. Half the top is steel plate and the other is refractory brick set on bar grating. Underneith is a bar grating shelf. Weighs about 1800 pounds. Doubt if I could ever afford to build another but it is definitely solid.

Good luck with your job!
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 06/22/01 04:13:07 GMT

Guru, I haven't got a clue what thermite costs, but it's relatively simple to make, and getting a magnesium ribbon to light it is also very easy. So, couldn't it be cost efficient if one made his own?

By the way, do you have any experience making amalgams? I read somewhere that in ancient times people used to mix mercury and gold and apply it to the surface of the metal so that the mercury would dissolve off and the gold would adhere to the surface when the piece was fire treated. Is there any truth to that? Sounds toxic.
Robert  <Robert29b at aol.com> - Friday, 06/22/01 04:35:05 GMT

California Energy Crisis: Back when I was doing nuclear work we did service work for the nuclear plant owned by the city of Sacremento, CA. Due to various mismanagement problems (including political) the plant was shut down by referendum. The plant was as safe as any. Management was the only problem. Over the past 10 years they have sold the spare parts and most of the maintenance tooling at scrap prices. The plant must still be manned because it has a fuel canal full of new and used fuel. So there sits 400 Megawatts of shut down plant that at one point provided all of Sacremento with excess to sell.

In the 1970's when we were serious about energy (both production and development) the US government passed laws to help develop hydropower resources. There are litteraly thousands of unused hydro sites sitting unused. Many were built by the utilities and were abandonded because they could not use them for "peaking" and were deemed too inefficient to operate "run of the river". Many off these have been taken over by independents and proved to be profittable. These are power sources that DO NOT require building new dams or flooding more land. They already exist.

I live in an old mill. The power that could be generated here would be approximatly 10 to 15 thousand dollars gross a year. So why am I not doing it? Government medling and utility backlash. To operate an EXISTING hydro plant you must meet the approval of every possible public group PLUS numerous government entities (FERC, FEMA, Army Corp of Engineers, FAW...). Then in our case the utility wants to charge a $500/month paper work charge. That's almost HALF of the possible income and in summer months we would have to PAY them if we did not generate.

It has been years since any new small hydro has been put on line because of the MISMANAGEMENT of the program. Meanwhile they are building coal burning cogens in almost every county. In Virgina there are litteraly a thousand or so mill dams that could all produce power. NO NEW dams would need to be built. But regulations and environmental groups used to fighting big industry and government apply the same force to little 10 to 100 KW operations.

Virginia has existing hydro that would equal one new nuclear power plant or numerous coal plants. But the "free" clean power is wasted just running into the sea every day, year in year out. And our President's solution is to build more oil and coal burning plants.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 06/22/01 04:40:51 GMT

And we will pay for it in the end .... year after year.
sad isn't it
MP  <swordmatt at yahoo.com> - Friday, 06/22/01 05:10:49 GMT

Hi Guru,
I started blacksmithing about a year ago. I want to make a new crank handle for my forge blower. My plan was to use about 6 inches of 1/2 inch round HRS to form a central pin of the handle. I formed a nice ball on one end. The other end is swaged down to 3/8 inch dia by 1/2 inch long. The swaged down end will rivet into the end of the crank arm.

The next part of my plan calls for wraping the central pin with a length of 5/16 inch dia brass rod. The brass rod would be closely coiled, covering the length of the central pin. The brass rod would be tightly coiled, but still free to turn on the central pin. The brass rod would be tapered at each end so the handle would be large in the midle and taper out to the ends.

My problems started when I tried to draw out the ends of the brass rod. Rather than draw out, the brass just fractures into small chunks. I tried working at temperatures from just below the melting point down to room temperature, but the metal just fractures.

So I gave up on the idea of tapering the ends. Next,I attempted to coil the rod around the 1/2 inch pin. I had the same problem as when tapering. The metal fractures rather than bend around the pin. It did this over a wide range of temperatures.

I would still like to make a brass handle for my forge blower. Would you have any thoughts on forging and coiling brass rod? Any suggestions for an alternate approach?

Best regards
Chuck Holmes  <cholmes at nethere.com> - Friday, 06/22/01 05:16:26 GMT

I live on the north/south Ca line. I'd rather be north, grew up in LA. It is it's own world.
The really good thing about Southern Calif is that all those folks are gathered up right there...and not here.
The north talks often of splitting from the south, for a number of good reasons.
The south isnt sure where northern Ca is.
Yeah Adam!
S1 is pretty forgiving, shock resistant steel that does OK for hot work.
S7 is air hardening,higher carbon, harder, stronger and a bit fussier, shock resistant steel that is good for hot work.
H13 is very air hardening, rather fussy ( for heat treat) and does excellently for hot work. It will cut cold mild steel when at a dull read heat. Don't quench H13 hot cut to cool it down.
At least that's my expierience.
PF - Friday, 06/22/01 05:19:48 GMT

Amalgams: Robert, I've got a mouth full of silver/mercury amalgam as does anyone that has had a tooth filled. Some busy creamatoriums have had to consider the environmental effects of mercury discharges from creameated fillings.

I've never delt with any that I mixed. It is one method that is recommended to do silver inlay in gun stocks. Undercut grooves are cut then filled with the amalgam paste and then it is hammering into place. When it hardens it is filed and polished.

I never heard of using it to do gold plating but mercury DOES have an affinity for copper, gold and silver. You can dip a clean copper coin in mercury and it will come out "silver" plated. Like solder, it doesn't stick to steel.

When thermite burns it reduces the iron oxide to liquid iron. The super heated liquid iron is what makes the weld. In the thermite mold there is a steel "shutter" of a predetermined thickness that holds back the liquid metal until most of the thermite has burned. The shutter melts out and the liquid metal runs into the mold cavity. Thermite is made in different grades for welding iron and steel of different strengths and compositions. It is not a method of heating.

- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 06/22/01 05:23:02 GMT

Brass: Chuck, What kind of brass? There is hard and soft and thousands of alloys. However, what is common that has this problem is leaded screw machine stock. The lead acts as a lubricant and makes the brass super easy to machine. However, when heated the lead comes out of solution and the brass crumbles. It CAN be forged but is a real trick.

Go to your welding supplier and get some 1/4" uncoated brazing rod. Works great. Fine points will split if worked too cold but so does steel. I just did a project using 1/4" and 3/16" rod. Used my little NC-TOOL Whisper Baby for heat. The brass works like BUTTER. In the past I had used a torch. The little forge worked great. I used it with the door wide open so it didn't build up to much heat in the refractory.

There is an iForge demo with photos of brass candle sticks made with brazing rod.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 06/22/01 05:37:30 GMT

Gold-plating: gold "disolved" in mercury is the oldest and until modern times the best way to to put gold on any metal.Itīs also one of the most dangerous techniques anyone could try, both for you and anyone living close to you. It wont only kill you, youīll go crazy first. (Says the guy who spent 4 years with his nose in a pot of mercury/tin/silver amalgam as a dental technician)-
Olle Andersson  <utgaardaolle at ebox.tninet.se> - Friday, 06/22/01 11:34:44 GMT


How can I tell if a mandrel cone is cast or ductal iron?
Chris Bernard  <cbernard53 at hotmail.com> - Friday, 06/22/01 13:07:14 GMT

North or South Ca.
I guess it all depends on where you draw that durn line!
Myself and others I deal with draw that line just north of Orange County and South of L.A. Us REAL So.Cal people want no part of any of those nuts, fruits and weard people from "up north" (If you are not in those catagorys please disregard, Dad Blame green wackos have taken over a lot of good country too.) Nuf said.

The only exposure I have to thermite is in things that go boom. I don't (won't) go into details on those things!
Wayne Parris  <benthar at pacbell.net> - Friday, 06/22/01 13:30:31 GMT

Adam: I have a bunch of jackhammer bits that are 1045. No highfalutin alloy, just 1045. Made by Brunner and Lay.

Val: I suspect you want to sell it on ebay, if so just post it with no reserve. It'll go for what it's worth, with the caveat that shipping will be VERY expensive, thus keeping the bids reasonable.

Robert: DIY thermite and mercury? glad I'm not anywhere near you!

Silver wire inlay in old gunstocks was not done with amalgam, it's just fine silver wire, flattened and driven into a thin cut in the stock. In metal, you just undercut the groove into a dovetail and hammer the wire, it will deform to fit.
Alan-L  <longmire at premiernet.net> - Friday, 06/22/01 14:18:14 GMT

Cast vs. Ductile: Chris, It's possible but takes destructive testing. When you drill cast iron you get little grey flakes. When you drill ductile you get slightly bigger chips and some free graphite. In the ductile, the carbon is composed of graphite nodules or little spheres in the relatively low carbon iron. It falls out when machined and is dirtier than cast iron.

The other method it to take a plain old E6013 or E7014 welding rod and run a short bead using AC along some non-critical edge. The ductile will weld. The cast will make an awful mess and if you DO manage to get a bead it break off relatively easily. The problem with this method is that you can grind off the bead on the ductile but the cast may develop cracks from the attemped weld. OR you can put the sample under a microscope and look for the graphite nodules.

AND you can always saw off two similar samples and try to bend them under controlled conditions. The ductile will (or should) bend fairly far before breaking but the cast will break and not show any signs of having deflected.

I am looking for a series of simple chemical tests that can be run on various alloys to help determine their content but in this case it would do little good. Tony, know of any good easy tests?
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 06/22/01 14:23:17 GMT

Silver Inlay: Alan, I didn't intend to mean to imply that that is what WAS used but I have seen articles (at least 15 years ago) on modern makers using silver amalgam for inlays. I think it was in the Dixie Gun Works catalog.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 06/22/01 14:30:40 GMT

Travel: Paw-Paw and I will be on the road today so you folks are on your own for a few days.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 06/22/01 15:38:45 GMT

Vulcan & Arm and Hammer *both* use an "arm and hammer" trademark. In the Vulcan anvils it is cast and protrudes from the anvil's surface. The Arm and Hammer brand has it
punched into the anvil so it's below the surface.

Big difference in quality of the anvils; but a lot of times the trademarks make for confusion.

Gold + mercury was a common method both of "fire gilding" and of gold refining. The spanish would have indians mix ore with mercury by *walking* in the stuff back in the 16th century. Worrying about retirement was not a problem...

Thomas Powers  <thomas_powers at my-deja.com> - Friday, 06/22/01 16:08:57 GMT

I am interested in stories (past and present) of feats of strength involving anvil lifting. There has been a "rite of passage" in my family for 5 generations involving lifting a "Wright" anvil overhead (135lbs). I also know that old time strongmen would lift anvils in the circus or sideshows. I am interested in ways people lift anvils to show off (i.e. I know some will test their grip by lifting it by the horn). I would be willing to pay for postage and any photo reproduction and if it is a good story, some extra for your trouble. Please help out
Thom Van Vleck  <tvanvleck at pfh.org> - Friday, 06/22/01 18:51:33 GMT

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I'm not a smith by any stretch of the imagination but am interested in the craft from a story telling point of view and need some general info if you all can humour me:)

I need to know approximately how long it would take middle ages smith to produce a full suit of plate armour and chain maille. I also need an idea of how often these suits would need repair and how diffulcult those repairs would be. I know it is hard to answer questions so general but I need whatever help you are willing to give. Thank you.
Martin Olarin  <ibp01_2000 at yahoo.com> - Friday, 06/22/01 19:03:23 GMT

Iíll tell you what I know about chain mail.

Marian, I've made a piece of chain mail, and I will tell you, it takes forever! I also have a chain mail shirt with 5/8 inch rings. Depending on how much help one has, a full suit of chain mail could take anywhere from a few weeks at the minimum to many months. It takes a while to get use to putting the links together, and actually making the links is much harder than putting them together. If you do it to long you will get arthritis. Some chain mail pieces found date back to 300 BC, and because of the high surface area of mail, it was allowed to darken, then it was oiled.

Anyone have anything else to add to that?

So like I said, If you were to produce a full suit of mail, including but not limited to hauberk, mitts, leggings, and coif, look at a skilled smith who specializes in mail making a full suit in about 6 months without any help. Thatís my best guess. Like I said though, it varies.

Correct me if Iím wrong people.

As for the other items, youíll have to ask someone else, because I have no experience with those pieces
Robert  <Robert29b at aol.com> - Friday, 06/22/01 20:26:52 GMT

Testing Ductile vs. Cast iron:

Ductile iron is also cast iron. To determine if ductile or gray iron.... gray iron will deflect very little before it breaks. It gives brittle fracture. So.... you could whack the top off of the cone with a sledge. If it bends before breaking, it is malleable or ductile and not gray iron.

But if you donít want to break it..... grin....... I would do two things. First, I would look at the cone and see if there are any obvious spots where it has been dented with a hammer or scarred like with a chisel. If it has significant dents or bent and folded scars, then it is not gray iron. If there are no dents, then I would take a ball peen hammer to it carefully and see if it dents with the peen. Gray iron does not like to dent. It will take the load until it breaks. But be careful because there would be little warning before breakage. Second, when hitting it, does it ring or sound dead? Gray iron dampens vibration and generally does not ring. Ductile will ring like mild steel in the same shape.

If I couldnít figure it out by then, Iíd file a small spot down to bare metal and mist the bare metal with salt water. Ductile will very quickly develop a red surface rust in high humidity. Sometimes less than 5 minutes. Gray iron takes much longer to rust. Malleable doesnít rust well either, but otherwise acts like ductile, so that may confuse the issue. Also, if you file it very smooth or file and then polish, ductile will get almost as shiny as steel while gray iron will stay more dull gray.

I wonder if you can spark test to determine? Iíve never tried it.

Non BS rambling from here on......

Guru and Paw Paw....have a safe trip!

Power generation: Hydropower is good, but difficult in WI too. We donít have Virginia style elevation differences, but some small operators do exist. I looked into it with a 12 foot elevation drop mill dam about a half mile from me. Nice setup for maybe a 20 kw turbine. Our state natural resources people (DNR) want ALL small dams removed to allow fish to migrate. These are the same people who failed to stop zebra mussels from migrating nearly everywhere, and introduced an aquatic plant that is taking over lakes also. They are.... MORONS! And they are environazis. They sent our local volunteer fire department (who owns the dam) a letter saying the fire department had to pay to have the dam removed. Got everyone in a tizzy. I suggested they tell the DNR to MAKE us remove it. How do you make a volunteer fire department remove a dam? So it didnít get removed. Then, all of a sudden, the spillway dam boards, which had been in fine shape for 25 years, suddenly failed and the water ran out. We all suspect the DNR punched the boards out. No rot was visible. Funny how that happened. Environazis!

And 20 miles away, my former deep pockets employer wanted a dam installed on a much more sensitive and lower flow creek so he could put in a tourista water powered saw mill. Magically, with liberal applications of money, the same DNR personnel approved that dam. One of my good friends is just finishing overseeing the project. Hypocrisy.

Human nature. Not always pretty, but always pretty interesting!

Nuclear power is OK. We have two old plants on the lake Michigan shore. I was inside one of the reactor shells when it was down for repair as part of an engineering group tour. Very interesting. Not that things couldnít go very bad, but there are lots of rules and procedures. Iíve also been inside local gas fired peakers and local coal plants and I can tell you they are MUCH dirtier. We will kill ourselves off with coal or oil or nuclear. Itís just a matter of time I guess. Lots of free clean energy in that sun, though! Wind and solar. Between hydro and solar, seems like the way to go to me if we are going to not screw it up for the future. If the river fishermen have a problem with river dams for hydro, let them be the first to disconnect from the grid!

Workbench plate thickness: Andrew, buy scrap plate. Plate must be cheaper here. Standard hot rolled plate costs me 30 cents a pound new. A 3 by 4 by 3/4" plate is 360 pounds. I would pay $110 new plus maybe $10 for shearing. If you want to come to Wisconsin, Iíll sell you one with a little rust, but flat, for $60 with two straight flame cut edges that you can grind and two sheared edges. I have a 4 by 8 work table made of Ĺ" plate and two tables of 1-1/2" plate. I REALLY like the 1-1/2" tables! 1" can still be bent from big work. It takes a real man to bend 1-1/2" plate. Grin. My last one is still magnetic from the scrap guys crane magnet. Makes setup for welding much nicer! When it weakens, I plan to take it back to him for another hit from the magnet. I picked up 2600 pounds of straight and clean 4 by 8 sheets of plate last night for $300. I also snagged some 7500 psi compressed air cylinders. Not sure what Iím going to do with them yet. Thin aluminum wrapped with wound carbon fiber reinforcement. Very cool. And free. Recycle! Itís more environmentally responsible. Thatís why I do it. Well, OK, itís because I am cheap. Errr... Frugal! Yeah, thatís it...... Frugal!

Anyone need new copeland refrigeration units for ice making? -40 F. Single phase. Complete except for the evaporator coil and expansion valve. New! With controls. Probably 4 tons of refrigeration each. He has 4 of them and wants $100 each. Air conditioned smithy anyone? Or really big slack tub cooler? If my scrap guy canít sell them, Iíll be using the compressors for 500 psi air compressors. Iíll get some torque out of the impact gun then huh??

Thermite. Mmmmmm... Fun stuff. Get rust from nails in salt water and a little aluminum......

Enough rambling for a Friday.
Tony  <tca_b at mmmmilwpc.com> - Friday, 06/22/01 20:50:32 GMT

Living in South Carolina I hear of the nuclear trash that is dumped here whenever I turn on the television. It makes South Carolinians mad, but obviously it's making someone rich because South Carolina just keeps taking it. It's become a joke. The invironmental protection people are trying to figure out what type of sign to put up that will discourage future tomb raiders. Talk about the pharohs curse! Anyone digs into that mess will open the proverbial can of worms. And as you know the Enlish language is ever evolving. 200 /300 years from now your decendants won't be able to read/speak the language that we use every day. Can you imagine the poor soul that does interpret the sign...*after* the nuclear dump has been opened? This garbage has a half life of 250,000 years, or so they say on the evening news.

Oh, I know the come backs...it's going to buried in concrete.

The Pharohs were buried in granite.

Only my opinion.
Steve Rutterbush  <Hammerdown Forge> - Friday, 06/22/01 23:30:46 GMT


How much is to much for a cone mandrel that goes from 1" to 15"?
Chris Bernard  <cbernard53 at hotmail.com> - Saturday, 06/23/01 01:02:08 GMT

BTW thanks Tony for the advice on the cone!
Chris Bernard  <cbernard53 at hotmail.com> - Saturday, 06/23/01 01:04:36 GMT

Chris, that's a big cone! Those tend to go for quite a bit, but I've never bought one so I don't know how much is too much... What do they want for it?

The Guru and Paw-Paw left us on our own, huh? Oh, the stuff we can tell people...
Alan-L  <longmire at premiernet.net> - Saturday, 06/23/01 01:26:43 GMT

The kind brass that I used was the kind that I get from the bin marked "BRASS" at my local scrap metal yard. So at your seggestion I tried some brazing rod. It works great. Its easy to forge, and coils nicely.

Thank you so much for the help
Chuck Holmes
Chuck Holmes  <cholmes at nethere.com> - Saturday, 06/23/01 04:10:17 GMT

Chris,,,I paid 460.00 for a 48" one (1"-12"). Probably paid too much, but they're hard to find in my area. There is one on ebay now that's about the same size as what you describe, bidding is currently at 300, but it will probably go for quite a bit more.
karma-kanic  <cimport at swbell.net> - Saturday, 06/23/01 12:23:01 GMT

I have an old anvil that has a name on it that is hard to read. What I can make out is:J.Wilkerson,with a big "+" in the middle and then the name "QUEENS" and then another name
DUI and the rest of this name almost gone. This is a single horn anvil with a square back and a square hole and a small circle hole on the square back. I would like some history on this anvil, as it has been passed down from prior family generations. I would like any information you can give me. Thanks, Jim Gandy, Many, Louisiana
Jim Gandy  <jimbgandy at cp-tel.net> - Saturday, 06/23/01 14:03:42 GMT

Jim, when someone who has a copy of Anvils in America gets back, they can answer better. All I know is that the last word on that anvil is "Dudley". It was most likely made in the mid to late 1800s, which makes it distinguished but not antique. The big square hole is the hardy hole, in which all manner of tools were held on the anvil. It's named after the hardy, which is a short chisel-like thing used to cut off hot iron. The little round hole is the pritchel hole, often used to punch holes over so the slug will fall through.

It is a forged anvil with a wrought iron body and tool steel face. And, I forgot to say earlier, it was made in England.
Alan-L  <longmire at premiernet.net> - Saturday, 06/23/01 14:25:25 GMT

nukyular waste:

A modern English speaker can easily read books written 300 years ago or more. Ever heard of Shakespeare ? "And my kingdom for a little grave, A little little grave, an obscure grave...", or perhaps you have read some of the King James Bible?

I expect they will still have geiger counters in 300 years. One who goes mining in unsurveyed land without some sort of radiation monitor is an idjit. Even without nukes there are places where there is enough natural radioactivity to give a bad dose.

It was no secret that the Pharoah were buried with fabulous wealth. Their tombs have been the targets of thieves since the days when the Pharoahs themselves ruled. (I would include the Victorian archeologists among the grave robbers). If someone robs another man's grave and gets hurt in the process - that's tough youknowhat!

The pyramids were mostly above ground and their construction was very simple. Being assembled entirely with hand labor they could be dismantled the same way by determined robbers. Modern construction methods are a lot more sophisticated.

We dont bury much gold with our nuke waste. Why would anyone go to the enourmous effort of unearthing and cracking open the concrete blocks which entomb the waste without at least attempting to first determine the first?
adam  <adam at whiteson.org> - Saturday, 06/23/01 18:31:03 GMT

I personaly think it is more a question on where your MIND resides (me? well, eeeh, olympus being waited on by the petty things that the greek worshiped ;-) lol).
to be honest MOST things are mind related. if two world-class heavyweight boxers went into the ring one confident and the other certain of defeat... not much of a figth.
just trying to give Tim, Pf... some way to escape Pawpaw's generalisation, or was it infact a joke?? considering it was said by Pawpaw it most likely was.
OErjan  <pokerbacken at angelfire.com> - Saturday, 06/23/01 19:54:01 GMT

adam: the trouble is that it will still be dangerous in 30 000 years. can you read or even FIND anything that old and be certain what it represents?
OErjan  <pokerbacken at angelfire.com> - Saturday, 06/23/01 20:18:38 GMT

Sorry to say that I have seen and could NOT read the original Shakespeare. Others that say the only version of the Christian Bible is the original King James Version obviously have NOT seen a copy of the "original". My point being that language and the usage of it changes. Please don't take my pitiful arguement personally. This arguement is the people of South Carolina trying to find an answer to the problem that you say does not or will not exist. South Carolina has hired people way smarter than me to solve the delima. Please find an *ORIGINAL* language version of either of the books mentioned here to prove or disprove what I've written.

Tell me, can you interpret this, "Wan thot Aprilly on the shora sotta...", my spelling may be a bit rusty. I'll give you a hint, Chaucer, Canterbury Tales. We read Chaucer in a language that we understand because somewhere out there is that person that has studied it and can read it.Because of this fact we now read it in high schools, but it looks nothing like this original. Things change.

Who knows what spent nuclear fuel rods will be worth or can be used for years from now.

Steve Rutterbush  <Hammerdown Forge> - Saturday, 06/23/01 21:20:09 GMT

Howdy Guru,
My question is about copper utensils. I have made some and they look real nice, but a lot of people ask me "Are they food-safe?". So what is the "food-safeness" of copper? I also use brass rivets on the copper utensils. Thanks
Kevin - Saturday, 06/23/01 22:45:18 GMT

OErjan, I never take anything too personally. In fact there are a LOT of reasons to make fun of Californians. BUT there are a lot of good (normal) people here and a LOT to be thankful for. The comeraderie of Blacksmiths is Universal, it dosen't matter a wit where you are from, I've met Smith's from Anckorage to the Czech Republic and we ALL speak the same "language". Good humor is a welcome respite from the sourness of everyday business dealings and the stresses of life. As long as it's in good taste and is not at the expense of the defenseless. (Of Which I don't consider myself the later, nor Paw-Paw!) Later! TC
Tim Cisneros - Sunday, 06/24/01 03:07:20 GMT

Nuke Waste in Barnwell SC: Steve, the waste taken at Barnwell is "low level" waste. 99% of which is the gloves, paper cloths, rags and such used by workers doing simple cleanup and maint tasks. The vast majority is short half life stuff. So short that most of the radiation cannot be detected a year after it comes from the plant. Its mixed with concrete in huge steel containers that are then burried. Its pretty inoculous stuff. You have more lethal chemicals under you sink.

I'm not necessarily pro nuclear. But most of what people worry about is from missinformation. The serious problem we currently have as a nation is that we are so paralyzed with fear from missinformation that we refuse to do what NEEDS to be done. Instead of finding a good disposal site for the HIGH level waste OR reprocessing the used fuel, ALL waste or spent fuel is setting in fuel handling bays of nuclear power plants where it was created. EVERY nuclear power plant in the country has become a defacto waste disposal site and they were NOT designed for that purpose. Now THAT is a problem.

This "waste" is deadly. It will kill. Quickly if you are directly exposed to it. But instead of disposing or storing it in the safest possible manner we are doing nothing. So, instead of burying it thousands of feed underground in a special facility, at hundreds of plants it is setting in an open tank of water where you can look down and see the glow from the residual radiation.

This is a problem we must solve if we contunue to use nuclear power or not. The waste exists. We have benifited from its creation. Now we need to do something about it. Getting hysterical about the microscopicaly contaminated gloves a worker was wearing next to his/her skin last week does not solve the problem.

I worry more about chemical companies then nukes. You can easily detect nuclear radiation from miles away but there is no "meter" or alarm that will tell you when you are swimming in Dioxin or Pesticide or and one of tens of thousands of chemicals.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Sunday, 06/24/01 05:30:52 GMT

Copper Utensils: Kevin, Bad news. They are generaly not "food safe". Any acidic or fatty food will quickly absorb copper and many organic things have a real affinity for copper (it bonds to the organic compounds). And THAT is what makes copper poisonous.

Copper cooking pans used to be lined with tin and the fancy French copper cookware is still tin coated. Reviere Ware is stainless with the copper outside for a good reason. I can not tell you how poisonous or compare it something else.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Sunday, 06/24/01 06:25:00 GMT

Copper Utensils: Kevin, Bad news. They are generaly not "food safe". Any acidic or fatty food will quickly absorb copper and many organic things have a real affinity for copper (it bonds to the organic compounds). And THAT is what makes copper poisonous.

Copper cooking pans used to be lined with tin and the fancy French copper cookware is still tin coated. Reviere Ware is stainless with the copper outside for a good reason. I can not tell you how poisonous or compare it something else.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Sunday, 06/24/01 06:26:24 GMT

I'll second the good Guru on the above..and I'm from California!
About 50 miles south of here is the big Diablo Cyn nuke plant, cleverly built atop an earthquake fault not far above the ocean ( in a really beautiful spot). They are generating lots of waste and scrambling to find a way to store it. Presently they are cramming it in open top steel tanks full of water, way beyond the intended capacity, on site.
In a small portion of the radioactive half life of the waste, it is reasonable to assume that it will end up in the ocean, be it through erosion, earthquake, tidal wave or simple rust. Further,the unit will be wildly expensive to decommission. The company has stealthly dumped it in the taxpayer's lap now.
Sure, I like my arc welder...but that nuke plant siting is plain dumb, or worse.
Having already done my time in the cancer ward, the prospect of radioactive fish for dinner doesn't appeal much.
However, as the guru notes, the chemical pollution problem is doing way more damage right now and in the immediate future.
So lets all stick to something healthy and clean , natural and organic...like blacksmithing!....pete
P F - Sunday, 06/24/01 06:31:13 GMT


Darn good answer without the book.


Your anvil was made by Joseph Wilkinson
at Queen's Cross, in Dudly, England. It was probably manufactured sometime after 1830. That plus mark is probably all that is left of a trademark that was either crossed swords, or crossed cannons. No one knows for sure which, and so far no one has been able to find any real good information idicating which. If you use a scotcthbrite pad (GENTLY) on the side and do a rubbing, you may be able to find more information.

Alan is probably right about the method of construction, but they did go to a two piece anvil similar to Peter Wright's method. I suspect yours was made before that change. Look if you can see a hing of a weld line where the feet are attached to the body of the anvil. Also look and see if you can see a faint weld line where the horn joins the body. (forge weld lines, not arc weld beads). If you do find any or all of the weld lines, then it IS a built up anvil. If none of them are there, look if there is a weld line where the top have of the body is joined to the base. If you find one there, it is a two piece anvil. Finding that information will help me to give you a LITTLE more accurate date.


Thank you. My generalization was WAY to broad. I'm to tired at the moment to explain what I was talking about (and this post is already pretty long), but will try to do so in the next day or so.

Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Sunday, 06/24/01 07:48:15 GMT

Camp Fenby: Paw-paw and I spent a day at the Longship Company's annual Camp Fenby weekend on Bruce Blackistone's family farm. There was a very low turn out, probably due to folks looking at the weather reports, but the weather (as it does on the East Coast) was an amazing surprise. Overcast with a temperatures in the 70's it could have been GREAT weekend with a few more people.

We went to see brass casting and DID see a little casting, but learned quite a bit from what we saw. Photos will be in the next edition of the news.

Wikinson Anvil That logo in good condition looks like the outline of two crossed saugages (or even a drawing of a Helium atom). It has been speculated to be many things such as crossed swords like the unrelated Wilkinson Sword trademark. However, the obvious (and my vote) is a road crossing. That's what "Queen's Cross" is. A road crossing.

Hay-Budden It is rare but occasionaly a late Hay-Budden seperates at the waist. The joint can be V'd out and welded with a high strength welding rod (preferably one of the high manganese rods designed for welding tool steel). The waist area should be preheated to about 350°F before welding.

If the crack or seperation is not a problem then don't worry about it. Bruce Wallace had one that the top pieces were hanging together by the smallest thread. When lifted the joint opened the pieces were in obvious danger of falling apart. Now THIS was a problem! Welded as above it rings like a bell and is a good anvil.

Do not make anvil repairs unless absolutely necessary AND you have the skills and understanding to do do so.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Sunday, 06/24/01 15:41:07 GMT

the great bellows on the 21 century page ..... does anyone has the building plans for them , or where can I find anny plans for a god bellow (big)?????
Johannes  <johannes at mine.be> - Sunday, 06/24/01 20:39:21 GMT

Bellows plans can be found in:

THE BLACKSMITH, Ironworker and Farrier by Aldren A. Wastson.

Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Monday, 06/25/01 00:03:17 GMT

Jock, I'm interested in working sheet metal into shapes such as fish, cactus, etc. Instead of torching them out flat, I've seen some firescreens where the object appears three deminsional (fron the front anway, the back is contured). Is this a separate art form than traditional blacksmithing? Are there any books or videos that would help?
rocker  <rhrocker at hilconet.com> - Monday, 06/25/01 00:42:02 GMT

Thanks for the info. on the copper utensils. Maybe I'll stop making them. Another question, I'd like to make a hatchet, I'm not sure what to use for the handle. I've got access to some maple and oak branches, can I carve these into a decent handle? Thank you.
Kevin - Monday, 06/25/01 01:53:21 GMT

Handle Material: Kevin, larger material than "branches" is best unless the branch is a foot or more in diameter. You don't want the "heart" of a piece of wood or that very close due to the curve of the grain and high shrinkage. The best way to make handles is to split the blank and the handle as close as possible to shape. This assures the grain is in line with the handle. You can split out and carve handles with a froe, hachet and rasp from green wood. Then hang the handle blanks to dry for several months. Do the final fitting and sanding (or scraping) after the handle has dried. Handles should not be made from sawn lumber.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Monday, 06/25/01 04:31:59 GMT

Copper pots and pans have been used for a very long time..preferred in fact for the even heat and lack of rust. There is a whole craft and tradition in copper cookware and all you have to do to make them just as food safe as they have always been, is to tin the surfaces that touch food.
Tinning isnt hard to do. Tin melts at a low temperature and can be spread evenly in a short period of time. Almost any old basic metalworking book will tell you the details.

OE, Paw-paw...Calif is known as the land of fruits and nuts for a reason!
The advantage to living here is that there arent as many folks looking down their noses at you if you dont behave just like they do.,...mostly....well, ideally anyway. sigh
P-F - Monday, 06/25/01 04:39:41 GMT

Shapes: Rocker, These are made a variety of ways. Many are cut and forged from bar or heavy plate. Or they can be formed from thinner plate. 1/8" (3mm) plate is forged but the process is called repose' when plate half that thickness or less is used. This is a classic sculptural technique.

When forging from heavy plate (1/8") then the rough shape is sunk into end grain of a stump or swage block hot. This burns a "mold" as you work. The details are chased into the front surface of the part hot or cold.

Then, there are those that use machine laser or plasma cut sillouettes.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Monday, 06/25/01 05:21:14 GMT

Guru, what is the body of a Hay-Budden anvil, cast, forged,wrought?
Steve Rutterbush  <Hammerdown Forge> - Monday, 06/25/01 10:49:11 GMT


Hay-Budden anvils were wrought anvils.
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Monday, 06/25/01 12:21:24 GMT

Thanks Paw Paw,
If the Hay-Budden anvil is indeed as you say, and as I thought, what does the high strength weld repair (with high manganese designed for welding tool steel) that Guru suggest do for the anvil? Is it beneficial for the soundness and the ring of the anvil?
Steve Rutterbush  <Hammerdown Forge> - Monday, 06/25/01 13:01:50 GMT

HEY, BUD. I've been away for a couple of weeks, and am returned. I confess that I am a self-taught cracker box welder (weldor?). I've welded on a few forged anvils, and I don't think it is sacrilege to do so. Use 'em or lose 'em. In the past, I used 6011 on the wrought iron parts, especially the cutting table portion, which I wanted to remain relatively soft. In the long ago days, I used McKay TOOL ALLOY HW, which was supposed to be compatible with the high carbon steel face. This rod was expensive. I was told that it was heat treatable, if one wanted to re-harden the entire face. It must be a stainless-type rod, because when you get done welding, the face of your anvil may look like a pinto pony. Lately, I've used 10018 on the high carbon face; it seems to hold up well. I think Rob Gunther has some info out on this anvil refurbishing business, which will no doubt be different than what I've said.
Frank Turley  <nudahonga at qwest.net> - Monday, 06/25/01 13:34:50 GMT

I cant get a fire pot in my area
so i'm thinking of casting the a cube out of fire proof cement, whit the bowl shape in it, and an old thik casted iron tube under it , would this do? has anyone anny experiance whit a stone fire pot?
Johannes  <johannes at mine.be> - Monday, 06/25/01 13:39:24 GMT

You've been under enough horses to rub off all traces of Boston Tea, LA glitz, and North Cal green pride. And if you spend enough time east of the Sierras you should be able to survive South San Fran. Anyone, who drives through the the big C realizes that the heart and soul of that place is agriculture. Just happens that the city folks stold the show.

you know Daryl Meier, and he knows Geo. Bush, Sr.(I saw a picture of them shaking hands), So if you could get him to talk to the ex-press, and have him talk to his son they might be able to get something done about our microhydropower industry. Hope so anyway.
Question: I have seen that evil red goo in lava form oozing around the grate to my fire pot. how big of a hole does it take for it to go through. do you know of anything that reduces the surface tension of a molten clinker so it would go through the grate?
P.S. Hope Paw Paw enjoyed my recipe for Baked Borax.
L.Sundstrom - Monday, 06/25/01 13:57:29 GMT


Gonna have to let the guru answer that one, I don't know.
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Monday, 06/25/01 14:02:41 GMT

Kevin: if your branches are big enough (see Guru post above), go with the maple. Oak is usually brittle. Hickory or ash is best.
Alan-L  <longmire at premiernet.net> - Monday, 06/25/01 14:09:07 GMT

To anyone who is interested... Ron Reils web page has moved.
Here is the new URL http://www.reil1.net/
Ralph  <ralphd at jps.net> - Monday, 06/25/01 14:53:40 GMT

Hay-Budden: OLD Hay-Buddens were wrought body with steel faces. Later ones have a tool steel upper body and low carbon steel or wrought base. When welding at the waist joint you use a rod for the tool steel.

I think that post was one in regards to a letter and I put it in the wrong place.

Ralph, looks like I've got a bunch of links to fix...
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Monday, 06/25/01 15:18:08 GMT

Anvils cracked at the waist: When I welded the cracked wrought iron waist on the 300# Hay-Budden the Guru is talking about I used 6010 rod after gouging the crack out with an air arc gouging rod. I used the anvil everyday until I recently purchased a 405# Hay-Budden. I didnít stop using the repaired anvil because it was ďuglyĒ or there was anything wrong with it. Itís just that, Iím always trying upgrade and make improvement to my shop. My latest fixation has been LARGE anvils and BIG hammers. The 300 H-B still gets used but not as often because I moved it away from my main workstation now that I have the 405 H-B. Later Hay-Budden and Trenton anvils came from the factory arc welded at the waist and new Peddinghaus forged steel anvils are still manufactured the same way. I donít see anything wrong with the repaired anvil other then the ďugly welds.Ē I guess I could do a better job at trying to make everything in our shop look prettier for the people it matters too. But, itís never been a beauty contest for me to see who has the most and best-looking tools and equipment.
Bruce R. Wallace  <WalmetaLwk at aol.com> - Monday, 06/25/01 15:32:31 GMT

Evil red goo: Larry, It sounds like your forge is possesed or needs to be cleaned. Hmmm "Cleanliness being near godliness" might be the cure for a possesed forge. Slag will run like water when hot enough. Flux will dilute it and make it more fluid.

In big gas forges where LOTS of flux is used it ofetn pools in the bottom. A drain hole lets the flux drain when the frozen plug of flux is broken off "tapping" the flux.

We got in a hurry and I didn't give Paw-Paw your photo. Will do soon. He's supposed to find some puffed mica vermiculite for me and we will trade then.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Monday, 06/25/01 15:44:16 GMT

Fire pot shape: Johannes, In most masonry forges the "fire pot" is mearly a pocket about the size of two common bricks bricks (approx 60 x 115 x 230mm). The sides can be made to slope if you are good at cutting brick OR have a diamond masonry saw. Another option is to use a refractory clay mix to fill in the corners to make the slope. The back of the "pocket" was flush against the front of the flue (chimney).

Most masonry forges are side blown. The air came in through the side of the forge through a hole made by leaving a gap in the bricks about as wide as the thickness of the brick (63 x 63mm). The bellows was connected directly to the back of the forge OR via a pipe.

The flue was constructed one of two ways generaly speaking. Neither of these has an ash dump.

One method was similar to the "Side draft hoods" we have on the plans page. These designs in metal were taken from old masonry forges.

The earlier method was an upward sloping hole (250mm x 250mm x 45°) in the flue starting about 350 - 400mm above the fire pit. This merged into the bottom of a large triangular space about 800mm wide and 610 tall by 300-400mm deep. The flue coming off the top of that space.

The area around the fire pit was flat but sometimes a raised edge was added.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Monday, 06/25/01 16:12:42 GMT

Copper Utensils: Kevin, You can still use brass and copper decoratively on the handles and I used to make a dustpan in copper and brass that was popular. For spatulas, spoons, wisks and such I prefer stainless steel with a black iron handle.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Monday, 06/25/01 16:20:06 GMT


We are in need of iForge demos. We would like to do a series of "theme" demos. The first series will be candle sticks. So that makes it simple. You don't have to decide WHAT to do, just do YOUR favorite style candle stick or candle opera.

See the iForge page of instructions and printable forms. Note that the copyright notice is for YOUR protection as well as ours. Take a look at the demos. The quality of the drawings vary greatly. All that is important is to get the idea across.

After doing free standing candle sticks we will do wall scounces.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Monday, 06/25/01 16:33:55 GMT

thanx for your replie guru
but I think that when I cast the pot in concrete using a lot of wood and a pyle of sand to make tho actual hole shape , I can create a more economicly desighn ( no cold corners)
my only question is wold fire proof cement (they sel it for stone bbq's) hold the heat?
Johannes  <johannes at mine.be> - Monday, 06/25/01 16:50:53 GMT

Frank Turley, welcome back and thanks for the info.

Guru, Thanks, you've come through again. I was wondering why the later model Hay-Buddens would have a tendency to crack if they were completely wrought iron. The top half of the anvil being tool steel the welding rod makes sense now.

Bruce Wallace, the 6010 being a deep penetrating rod you probably have a weld that will last as long as the anvil. Who cares what it looks like as long as it serves it's purpose. If you ever sale it the next person can make it "pretty".

Thanks to everyone.
Steve Rutterbush  <Hammerdown Forge> - Monday, 06/25/01 18:10:49 GMT

Well I hate to break it to us smiths; but one of the *major* sources of radioactives in the environment is burning *coal*.

Radioactive elements come up out of the earth in igneous rocks that weather down releasing it into the envirnment---turns out that the radioactive comples like to bind to organics, (why there are "point bar" mines out west for the stuff); but guess what is a great source of organics? Yup the coal swamps! Turns out that a coal burning power plant releases more radiation into the air than a nuclear plant!

Low stuff shouldn't even make it to a dump; let it decontam then treat like regular trash. High stuff is more of a problem---I kind of like the idea of vitrization and dumping it into a subduction zone---let the earth deal with it, 30K years is trivial in geologic time.

Most folks have no idea of the magnitude of hazards; I used to tell people that more people died from car accidents on the way to anit-ALAR rallies than whould have died from it.

The *most* dangereous thing I do is to drive to work!
My kids are immunized---*much* safer; esp if you do any international travel. I wear a dusk mask grinding, don't forge plated materials, *always* wear a seat belt and would prefer people *NOT* to prevent me from doing stuff "for my own good" A life with no risk is *death*---shoot you want to live forever?

Did the rounds during lunch and collected enough pine pitch to do seat several neo-tribal blades---just real hard to type with sticky fingers...

Thomas Powers  <thomas_powers at my-deja.com> - Monday, 06/25/01 19:19:20 GMT

Man, I cleans my forge ev'r mornin down to the bare grate fore I lights me fire. I also removes me clinkers by letting the fire cool throughout the day and tappin aroun with my clinker finder. One day I was a pokin around in there and noticed this evil-red-glowing-lava-like goo. A light went off in my head and I says to myself: "I've seen the very evil klinker in the very makin'" Well sir, I asks myself and yerself as well, "If it's liquid, why don't it go down through the holes"? And I thought as though it must be do to the surface tension of that evil goo. And the coins started to jingle in my brain that if I could throw sometun into that raging inferno to reduce the surface tension of that stuff, so as it would go through the hole in that grate, I'd make me and you a pile of them thar coins. Call it:
"Jock's Amazing Deklinkifier"...or
"Paw Paw's Forge Draino"
And sir, I donate that thar idea to Anvilfire in hopes it helps to keep the presses running.
Yours truely,
L.Sundstrom - Monday, 06/25/01 20:01:15 GMT

Hi Folks
Iīd really like to do some stainless damascus and like to know what i need. Iīm livin in Germany and have no problem with the translation of steeltypes. The best will be a percentage scale of the aloys. Iīm pretty good in forge welding so this will not be a problem. I do have a gas and a coal forge.
I would appreciate it if you could reply on my regular e-mail adress: f.guettler at guettler-krieg.de

Thanks a lot so far and keep the fire going

Freddie  <f.guettler at guettler-krieg.de> - Monday, 06/25/01 20:24:03 GMT

Larry, sounds like you have some evil satanic coal! Mumble something mystical and fling borax at it, that might make it more liquid. But, it probably won't go down the tuyere since it'll cool and solidify when the blast hits it. I'd get some cleaner, demon-free coal myself.
Alan-L  <longmire at premiernet.net> - Monday, 06/25/01 21:32:01 GMT

spell checker: can del a bra, Jock, join me on the far left end of the spelling curve.
a non o mus
L.Sundstrom - Monday, 06/25/01 21:48:20 GMT

I am looking for a branding iron to use on furniture...
could you please tell me of a place to order one from. I want to brand my company name on the pieces....
trish  <tmbarnes at planttel.net> - Monday, 06/25/01 22:45:15 GMT

Jock, Don't want to pick too many nits, but candlestick is one word, and sconce is spelled without a "u".
Frank Turley  <nudahonga at qwest.net> - Tuesday, 06/26/01 00:01:49 GMT


Bless You! Another spell checker on board!

Jock, you is in a HEAP of trouble, now!

Satanic grin!
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Tuesday, 06/26/01 00:17:17 GMT

I have a set of wrought iron lawn furniture in the fern pattern. It belonged to my grandparents for many years. Do you know anything about it or a website I can check. Thanks Barbara
Barbara  <BarbaraLouthan at aol.com> - Tuesday, 06/26/01 00:48:53 GMT

Trish: Any good woodworking supply place can set you up. Highland Hardware in Atlanta, www.highlandhardware.com , has them in the style you want for a wide range of prices. I have one of their catalogs on top of my stack by the computer, I'm not advertising.
Alan-L  <longmire at premiernet.net> - Tuesday, 06/26/01 00:59:54 GMT


Let's see- My byrnie contains about 12,800 links, 1/4 mile of 14 gauge wire and weighs 22.25 lbs (~ 10 kilos). I estimated that it took me 130 man hours to make it, mostly while commuting on a bus to work. One of my friends did riveted mail and it took him about 10 times as long. However, a gentleman over at the Armour Archives was demonstrating a European riveting method that was much faster, so I would figure (roughly) maybe 500 man hours (a lot of those hours being done by apprentices). Of course, all of this is starting off with wire. If you're starting off with big iron (hematite) and charcoal, I wouldn't even hazard a guess.

Thomas Powers- any ideas?

Visit your National Parks: www.nps.gov

Go viking with us: www.wam.umd.edu/~eowyn/Longship/

Bruce Blackistone (Atli)  <asylum at us.HSAnet.net> - Tuesday, 06/26/01 03:03:28 GMT

Thanks for sharing the information. Thomas mentioned pine pitch for blades, etc.? Is there a trick to getting and using it? Is there a source of information for neo-tribal blade-smithing? I'm just full of questions! Thanks.
Kevin - Tuesday, 06/26/01 03:16:21 GMT

Spelling: WordIMperfect 8.0 said candlestick was two words and it didn't have a guess on candlabra. I'm sure my old PFS Professional Write would have had both! I have PFS:Write AND Websters installed on my DOS machine. Between the two there was a 125,000+ word dictionary. WP sucks in this area but I use it because of the "view codes" feature and the excelent document formating capability.

Sadly both PFS and Websters (the two highest rated spell checkers) are long gone leaving only the mediochre for the new millenium. Lots of REALLY good software has been left in the dust by the forced mirgation to Windirt.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 06/26/01 04:39:05 GMT

Neotribal: Kevin, see the site of the same name on the links page.

Pine pitch is gathered from pine trees. Same thing amber is made of. Cut a slash on a pine and wait. . . might take a few days. If there are broken limbs you will find it there. Check the surface of any automobile parked under pine trees (like mine) an you find lumps of it that almost require removing the paint to get off.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 06/26/01 04:42:50 GMT

More on pine pitch and other glues: Back when I was an archery demon I would glue my knocks and tips on with fresh chewing gum. It was the only thing that would withstand the shock of ocassionaly hitting the frame around the backstop OR the backboard when the the bulls eye was worn out.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 06/26/01 04:45:38 GMT

"Fern" lawn furniture: Barbara, Sorry not a clue. Most of this type stuff was production metalwork produced in factories that had nothing to do with blacksmithing. Information on this comes within the realm of interior decorator or furniture manufacturing.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 06/26/01 04:50:40 GMT

Freddie: I used 440C and 431 when I last made stainless pattern-welded steel. Devin Thomas used 12C27 and 304 ( I think ).
grandpa  <darylmeier at aol.com> - Tuesday, 06/26/01 13:58:38 GMT

I am a frontier era knife maker looking for a way to mark my knives, I have been told I can do it by applying wax and scribing in my mark then applying acid to etch the symbol. I use tempered steel from old saw blades 24 to 60 inch blades. I have been making knives for 20 years off and on but really starting to make them regularly now that i am disabled and am starting too sell enough to warrent marking them. Any help you can provide as to what kind of acid to use will be appreciated. I am planning to use beeswax for my medium. Hope this is enough information for you to advise me. Thank you George "Sparerib" Dyson
George Dyson  <Sparerib4648 at aol.com> - Tuesday, 06/26/01 14:03:07 GMT

Re armour making---the first thing that comes to mind is that *1* person would not have done it! A smith would have a passel of apprentices and journeymen---even in a backwards village or on campaign there would be a couple of helpers with some training. If you see the woodcuts of armourmaking shops there is usually 4 or 5 people in the backgrounds doing stuff. Also, in general, a smith would *NOT* be making their own iron from ore and drawing wire from it etc. Smelted iron has been a trade good since the iron age began and there was an amazing ammount of specialization going on even during the medieval period (a sword blade might travel to 3 or 4 different speciality shops before being ready to sell). We are really hampered today by our richness in capital goods (tools) and poverty in people (labour). There have probably been some dissertations on output of various armour shops from extant records---I would suggest writing Dr Alan Williams c/o The Wallace Collection, Bedford House, London who has written such interesting articles as "The Blast Furnace and the Mas Production of Armour Plate" My shirt of butted 1/4" ID rings took forever and a day---but not full time!

Neo Tribal; I like Tim Lively's unplugged page:
and the outpost
lot of the same players; I got tired of Tai's tantrums, I sure admire his work and have been doing so for a long time but this "artistic temperament" stuff just gets in the way---to much like raising pre-schoolers.

Look for the threads on "Cutler's resin" or on ArmandHammered's arrowhead swap and BTW I post as "Bog Iron" over there.

I never had to damage a tree for pitch; lots of "naturally damaged or trimmed trees to fill my can.

Thomas Powers  <thomas_powers at my-deja.com> - Tuesday, 06/26/01 14:07:43 GMT

Etching: George, It depends how deep you want to etch your name. Would you believe chlorox bleach works? Those etching laminated steel knives for color (leaving a black etch) use 5% ferric chloride. It is available at electronics stores like radio shack for etching circuit boards.

Before etching anything important, TEST the method. Work on a sample of the same material with the same finish and heat treatment. Then carefully time the etch and record each test. When done etching rinse in fresh water, then in sodium bicarbonate solution, then in fresh water again. Oil after cleaning.

Those that forge their knives use a "touchmark". A signiture punch that they have made OR have had a commercial concern make for them. See our iForge demo on making your own punches.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 06/26/01 15:25:32 GMT

Jock, thanks for the earlier answer on forming metal shapes. What is the best way to make grapes? I need to make some clusters, and have thought about taking 1/2" sq. rod cut to 1/2" length, tig welding a stem, then heating and shaping into a general grape shape. Will this work?
rocker  <rhrocker at hilconet.com> - Tuesday, 06/26/01 17:42:41 GMT


That'll probably work, but ball bearings also work well. Use a large speaker magnet to hold them together into the cluster shape, then TIG the back side of the bearings to each other.
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Tuesday, 06/26/01 18:28:57 GMT

I have seen some anvils that have a "forging table" - a little ledge about 2"x2" that projects from the far side of the face near the horn. How is this feature used and why doesn't it snap off with the first misplaced hammer blow?
adam  <adam at whiteson.org> - Tuesday, 06/26/01 20:18:04 GMT


That's a "clip horn". Used by farriers to form clips on a horse shoe.
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Tuesday, 06/26/01 20:25:01 GMT

"Clip" horn: That's usualy a rounded projection or buldge with square edges off the side of the horn. The little table below the face on the side of the body that Adam is speaking of is common on carriage makers anvils but I am not sure of the purpose.

Grapes Commercial steel balls work. Even though many do, I wouldn't use ball bearings due to the welding problems. We have a clapper die drawing on the 21st Century page for making grapes, cherries, acorns. Its easier to draw out the stem than to try to work a piece on the end of a flimsy stem.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 06/26/01 20:43:29 GMT

Oops! 9GRIN) Sorry, Adam.
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Tuesday, 06/26/01 21:36:30 GMT

I have one quick question. I was wondering if you or anybody else could forge the Greek letter Pi which would be used on/as a brand. It would need to be about two and a half inches high and and two inches wide. I know it sounds crazy, but just curious.

Wilder Harvard  <harvard at email.unc.edu> - Tuesday, 06/26/01 23:17:40 GMT

re: hex nut angles
A circular or table saw blade can assist in laying out a multitude of angles for many of the projects that one runs into in the shop. Divide 360(or 2pi) by # of teeth on the blade which yields degrees (radians)for each tooth. Count off what you need. I need to buy a spare 60T cheapo as it is the most handy and math friendly.

GoOOooLLYy, I got to put in sumpin'. :)
Mills  <mills_fam2 at netzero.net> - Tuesday, 06/26/01 23:20:21 GMT

Guru, Made my first open die for my air hammer today. Took all day to make the fine adjustments. It is for an element in the pickets and newel posts of a rail I'm working on. Question: Is there a resource, book, or video which explains this process and shows other types of open dies? They are a real time saver after the initial investment of time to build the dies. Clifton Ralph comes to mind? Thanks in advance. TC
Tim Cisneros  <blacksmith at theforgeworks.com> - Wednesday, 06/27/01 03:02:19 GMT

PI = 3.1416. . . Wilder, not a problem. Typically it is three pieces the support bars behind it. I need to make a die for rebinding my copy of History of PI by Petr Beckmann anyway. Drop me mail and let me know what you need it for.

Harvard at University of North Carolina?????
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 06/27/01 03:14:54 GMT

Dividing Head: Mills, Great idea. Many machines have 60 tooth bull gears OR 60 holes drilled in one of the gears.

For those of you slow on the import of the number 60,

30T = 180°
20T = 120°
15T = 90°
10T = 60°
5T = 30°

About the only important angle that it doesn't produce is 45°. Of course this and 22.5° can be produced by simple disection of 90°.
A Contest:The ancient Summerians, the folks with the clay tablets and cuniform writing, had one of the earliest known mathematical systems. It used base 60. This was symbolic of their year which had 360 days (whence comes our degrees in a circle). They believed that the world must be mathematicaly perfect and thus 60 and 360 were very important numbers to them. Of course their calander quickly failed so they tossed in a few holy days that didn't count and kept the system going for a little longers. . .

Later base 10 (which we use today) was universaly adopted for those of us that have to count on our fingers and toes.

However ever since the time of the Summerians we still use base 60 in everyday life (besides measuring angles and therefore navagation). What do we use it for?

The first two correct answers in my e-mail will each win an anvilfire cap.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 06/27/01 03:37:56 GMT

Guru, How about the use of 60 minutes in an hour? TC
Tim Cisneros  <blacksmith at theforgeworks.com> - Wednesday, 06/27/01 03:56:34 GMT

Diemaking: Tim, About the only books on the subject are the industrial forging books and these are not very helpful. They jump from the basic open die forging tools to closed dies where huge amounts of force are required and heavy flash is expected to be trimmed. They have nothing in between.

I know someone writing a book on power hammer use and will probably be asked to proof/edit it. If they do not have what you are looking for I may drop some hints or volunteer a chapter.

Until then:

Consider how you hand forge an item. A die with a section that helps form the "bud" from which we forge a leaf and THEN has the leaf impression will produce the finished shape will make a clean neat job. See my clapper die on the 21st Century page for one of this type.

Dies for more complicated shapes may want to have a section that simply bends the bar to fit the impression. Two stage dies can make quick work of a part. The edges of the impression should have smooth rounded corners to prevent making flash or marking the work.

Dies for forming long work such as top rail need to have long "funnel" section gradualy changing the shape until the final shape is achieved in a short section of the die. The exit side of the die needs to be very smoothly rounded so that the finished shape is not marked up. The exit side (as should be both edges of large flat dies) should be rounded in an oval or elliptical manner, gradualy tapering away and then going into a more rapid curve that ends flush on the side of the die. Round stock works better in this type of die as it doesn't have corners where you don't want them.

Dies can be made by sinking a master into the heated die steel OR machined out. In either case much hand work is required to finish the die (unless you have an EDM machine and a well designed master). Files, die grinders, Dremels, Foredom flexable shaft machines and many grits of abrasive cloth come in handy.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 06/27/01 04:02:23 GMT

Short Contest!: Jim Ellis was our first respondant and then Tim (above).

Base 60 is used to measure time as well as sub divide angles into minutes and seconds which REALLY confuses things. In astronomy they still use minutes and seconds of a degree but most of the rest of the world now uses decimals of a degree.

Base 60 has a sub-base of 12 (one fifth of 60). Thus we divide the hour into 5 minute increments that happen to coincide with the hours on a 12 hour clock. It is not by chance that this is so. One of the most mysterious items found in an ancient Minoan shipwreck (ca 1000-1500 BC) was an navigational device that with gears that could tell the angle of the stars and phase of the moon. Thus our time keeping system is at least 3500 years old and probably older.

The OFFICIAL metric system of measuring angles is the RADIAN system where a circle equals 2PI radians (180° = PI). All computer systems work with angles in radians so programmers need to be quite conversant in radians OR the conversion to and from radians (PI/180 and 180/PI).

However, in a monumental cop-out to the "old" systems the metric system currently accepts the use of 360 degrees. THUS along with the base 60/12 used for time and 360/60 used for angles the holy base 10 of the metric system is a sham.

- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 06/27/01 04:29:53 GMT

Guru, I am making a couple of lamps that will mount on the wall. They will resemble a bundle of twigs wrapped together. Is there a way I can make it appear like bark or grain veins on the outside of the twigs? The material will be 5/8", 1/2", and 3/8" hot roll round. This will all be hammered by hand. I had considered grinding some type of vein in an old hammer head I have a putting a handle on it. any help would be appreciated. Thanks, Scott
Scott Vickrey  <vickrey at easilink.com> - Wednesday, 06/27/01 11:30:14 GMT

Getting back to clip horns, I assume we can put farriers' info in here. The clip is a relatively thin projection drawn from the edge of the horseshoe toward the hoof surface, as opposed to the ground surface. It is usually triangular in shape with a small radius at the top and being thicker at the base. The height is about twice that of the shoe thickness. A front shoe usually has a single, centered clip, and a hind shoe, two "side clips" opposing each other.

Some shoers draw a semi-circular shape. When hot fitting, the clips stand up at about a right angle to the shoe web (width of stock). When the shaped shoe is fixed in place with a couple of nails, the foot is let to the ground and with the horse's weight on it, the clips are hammered inward, cold, to conform to the hoof angle. The nailing and clinching is then completed.

Nowadays, a number of farriers do not care to use the clip horn, because its circular end tends to gouge out a crescent shaped depression on the foot surface of the shoe. An alternative method is to use a bob punch on the ground surface edge to create a "buldge" or "frog eye" and then to draw the clip over a somewhat sharp edge of the anvil. Another way is to hold the shoe off the far edge of the anvil with a bit of foot surface above the edge and facing the operator. The clip is pulled (drawn) over the anvil face, often with the ball of a ball peen hammer. In Britain, they have a "side pane" on the cheek of their
rounding hammers which they use for "clipping up". I'm not sure how handy they are; I have not seen them in use.

Finally, we get to the question of "why clips on a shoe?".
There is a mistaken impression that they help to hold the shoe on the hoof. In reality, they are used to keep the shoe from shifting on the foot, especially on athletic horses and heavy draft breeds. Even though the shoe is nailed on, there is the possibility of it shifting backwards or diagonally. In those instances, the shoe no longer fits and additionally, it may be lost due to the opposing foot stepping on the projecting web.
Frank Turley  <nudahonga at qwest.net> - Wednesday, 06/27/01 13:00:51 GMT

Hey Jock or anyone, Know where I can find a 5/8" CR axle shaft with a keyway in it about 12"'s long? I tried grainger, but no luck.
Mike Roth  <emeraldisleforge at yahoo.com> - Wednesday, 06/27/01 13:01:02 GMT

Veins: Scott, your best bet is to make a clapper die. That way the texturing will occur on the stuck and supported side at the same time. Before making the die consider that the only the top and bottom 1/4 of each die will make a clean impression that can be extracted from a curved impression. SO, for this die you are best off using flat surfaces with grooves cut into the surface producing a saw tooth surface. It is also a sharp detail die so it is best if you make it of tool steel.

There are two ways to cut this die. Heat the die block and cut a series of grooves with a hot chisle. OR produce a "master" and sink it into the heated die surface. The master system gives you a better chance of producing two similar dies but also requires a power hammer or a striker to set the impression quick and deep. The die (or master) could also be cut in anannealed blank using a shaper.

Without crush rolls (that continously shape a grinding wheel) on a special surface grinder designed for making threading dies, I doubt that you can grind sharp enough surfaces.

One method for making this type die or master that I thought of is to use a series of narrow sharpened HSS pieces stacked and set into a holder. The holder would have to be very strong and the whole may be too expensive. But its still an intresting idea. I thought of it for a grooving die for making two parallel chisle grooves in square or flat bar. The die "edges" could be removed and resharpened then shimmed up as necessary. Or you could replace them.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 06/27/01 13:32:48 GMT

My experience working with pine pitch: Last night I bedded my arrowhead knife's tang in a small deer legbone using pitch as the "epoxy". This is how I dun it:

First I collected pitch from a variety of trees, looking for the hardened stuff when I could find it over the sticky stuff. (One tree filled 1/2 of my collecting can from one spot!) No trees were damaged in the collection. All wounds were still well pitched after removal of excess.

Next I "cleaned it", put a 2# coffee can 1/2 filled with water on a fire (outside in the grill) and added the pitch (dropped the small can down into the boiling water and let it melt out and come to the surface. I skimmed it from the surface and put it into another small can with a "disposable" metal spoon now known as the "pitch spoon" (note: I dumped out any water that may have been included when I skimmed and let the can heat a bit to drive off any that had been trapped.)

Next was the weird part: to give the stuff a bit more body, strength and control some of the stickness I added PHD which as we all know stands for "Powdered Herbivore Dung", moose is "traditional" in the NT group but you gotta go with what you have so I took a few dried up rabbit pellets and baked them in a can (outside on the fire again) till they were slightly charred and then powdered them. Heating the pitch to a liquid consistancy I stirred in the PHD trying for about a 1:4 ratio and let cool. (traditional cutler's resin usually used chalk or brick dust as an additive)

Next evening down in the basement I taped the handle and the blade of the knife to prevent messing them up, (it's a pattern welded and etched blade and I didn't want to have to clean it and risk the etch!). Using a heat gun, (blow dryer on steroids) I heated the pitch, the tang and the handle (very carefully on the bone!) I had a long skinny hole to fill so I took some pitch and let it drip onto a plastic coffee can lid and when it was ok to touch I rolled some "snakes and dropped them down the handle and rammed them home with the hot tang. When pitch started to ooze out around the top I removed the "excess"; heated the tang and pushed it home keeping pressure on it while it cooled a bit. While it was still warm and pliable I cleaned off any stray pitch with my finger nail and "tooled" the bolster/handle joint.

I let it cool then removed the tape from the blade and handle and went over everything with WD40 to remove any tape or pitch stickyness

The blade is very solidly mounted---80's and in my shirt pocket didn't show any softening this morning. It also *is* removable just by heating the blade--in case it get's mesed up and needs a cleaning and a re-etch and the same pitch can be re-used to reseat it afterwards!

I would not suggest leaving it on the dashboard in the summer sun---but the bone wouldn't like that either...

smells a lot better than epoxy too!

My thanks to the NT folk who introduced me to this method and what PHD *really* means!
Thomas NTKA Bog Iron
Thomas Powers  <thomas_powers at my-deja.com> - Wednesday, 06/27/01 13:49:26 GMT

But Frank. . What the heck is that little thin square projection used for on what I "think" are carriage makers anvils?

Shafting Mike, I have some 7/8" "all key" shafting. It has a keyway down its entire length. I have several other sizes but this is the smallest.

McMaster-Carr has "Drive Shafts" with a keyway 14" long in one end and 4" in the other. Part No. 6117K33 is 5/8" dia and 24" long. My old catalog says $25 USD.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 06/27/01 13:54:01 GMT

Jock, Thanks for the reference! That's just what I need, little long, but that's OK.

Thomas, That's great! The original hot glue!! Thanks for telling us about it, I'll have to try it one of these days.
Mike Roth  <emeraldisleforge at yahoo.com> - Wednesday, 06/27/01 14:11:15 GMT

A real ignorance revealing question if I may. I am cutting leaves out of 3/16 plate/sheet with a 30x harris propane torch tip (and prop/ox). I am getting real wonkie cuts, lots of slag on top, an ok cut about 2/3 way thru, and real messy bottoms with tons of slag (exaggeration). I have tried tips from 1 to 3 zero,s varied the ox and gas all over the dial, help a reality challenged person. My wife actually said, "gee maybe you need one of them plasma thingies"...hummmmm
Tim - Wednesday, 06/27/01 15:16:59 GMT

I have the Allstates OxyPropane torch which uses some Harris parts.

On my torch too much slag usually means too much preheat or that one is cutting too slowly.

One advantage of propane is that you can run much higher pressures than acetylene. This in turn means one can cut much further away from the tip - I can cut up to 8" away with my smallest tip. Because of this, one can walk the cut along just by rolling the torch tip with one's hands. This gives a very clean, fast cut.

I dunno if this applies to your torch but it might be worth a try.

Then again, if the Mrs thinks you need a "plasma thingie" it's best not to argue.
adam  <adam at whiteson.org> - Wednesday, 06/27/01 16:19:27 GMT

Ms Steigler uses hammers that she modified with weld beads etc on the face to give texture effects. You might consider that as well as Guru's clapper dies....
Ralph  <ralphd at jps.net> - Wednesday, 06/27/01 16:34:58 GMT

Jock, I don't know what the coachmaker's anvil projection is used for. I've only seen one anvil of that pattern before Postman's book came out, and it surely threw me a curve. Postman suggests that the "side horn" was used for making clips, and by "clips", he is referring to "collars" or "bands". I suppose a coachmaker would clip the leaf springs together. I'm guessing that the side horn might have been a rivet back-up for hard to reach places.

In my view, some of the finest craftsmanship in Western ironwork was applied to fine carriages and coaches. The running gears and springs were truly artful. Therefore, I think that a special jig was made up to form clips (collars), but that still leaves the question open as to the use of the side horn.

In the days of yesteryear, I was a farrier, but never a coachmaker.
Frank Turley  <nudahonga at qwest.net> - Wednesday, 06/27/01 16:42:51 GMT

Hi guys, all this talk about tinning brass and copper, made me think of what I done to my steel cream can. I like to cook in a cream can when camping. I found a nice heavy steel can,the can had a 1/4" hole in bottom. I used brass and brazed the hole closed. When I looked inside the can, I can see it must have been tinned, I got the can hot enough to move some of the tin around. Do I need to tin around the 1/4" patch, and try to smooth the tin out in the bottom of the rest of the can? If so How do you do that and where can you by tin?
Jim R. Glines  <jglines at kdsi.net> - Wednesday, 06/27/01 16:54:21 GMT

Tinning: Jim, All I have done in this area failed miserably (Too much help, too little tin). I CAN tell you this. To re-tin the steel it must be absolutely clean. No oxide no dirt. Then you apply copper sulfate solution to "copper flash" the steel. Then you tin the copper surface. My best luck tinning has been while using paste flux with tin powder in it. Sears sells it. Just when the work it hot enough the tin flashes the surface, then you add solder (tin). Overheating is the biggest problem when soldering and the tin/flux realy makes it easier.

Note that most NEW plumbing solder is pure tin plus some silver to raise its melting point and make it a little harder. Check on it. NEVER use OLD solder or electrical solder on plumbing or food handling vessles. Old plumbing solder was 50/50 tin lead. The NEW solder is lead free.

Many suppliers have tin ingots. McMaster-Carr has it.

When you clean and tin the bottom of your container the brass should tin as well.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 06/27/01 17:34:09 GMT

Forging Table: Uri Hoffi's anvil has one of these little shelves. I get the impression this anvil was made to his specs. See pix in Anvilfire/news1/Volume 13 - Page 2b of 12
adam  <adam at whiteson.org> - Wednesday, 06/27/01 20:23:52 GMT

I had an accidental tinning experience a while back that might shed some more light on the subject for those of you who want to do this on purpose.

A dear friend was getting married and wanted some kind of unusual token to give to her guests. We came up with the idea of casting tin hearts. I cast a bronze mold with three heart-shaped depressions. I wanted these hearts to come out as smooth as possible so that they not only looked good, but would entail as little hand-finishing as possible so, I proceeded to polish the depressions to a mirror finish. I poured one to show my freind and the casting would not come out of the mold! I tried prying and pounding and even inserted a screw in the backside of the casting to pull on all to no avail. Finally, I heated the mold until the tin heart melted and poured the tin out of the mold. I was left with a nice tin coating in the depression! By this time, the other depressions had formed an oxide coating from all of the applied heat and I was able to successfully cast tin hearts in htem without any sticking problems. Hope this helps.
Ron Holcomb  <holcombron at hotmail.com> - Wednesday, 06/27/01 20:31:27 GMT

Die making Ill take the hint about including die information although die making is a topic unto itself.

The only addition I would make to your post deals with relief (side clearance). Dies in the blacksmith shop generally have a lot of relief. This alleviates the formation of flash or die overflow. An example A tenion forming die has an oval shaped opening rather than a drilled hole. For a half inch tenion the opening would be half inch between the top and bottom die but maybe ĺ of an inch wide. The work is rotated in this cavity and a half inch round tenion is formed with no flash.

Frank once a farrier always a farrier. That how I learned smithing and a lot of other things.
JohnC  <careatti at crosslink.net> - Wednesday, 06/27/01 20:57:57 GMT

Anvil Shelf Adam, That is an upsetting block. Thats a different animal. On the carriage makers anvil we are speaking of the shelf is almost like a miniature anvil heal stuck on the side of the anvil. Most appear to be 2 x 3 inches and maybe 3/4" thick at the outside edge and then get thicker as it approaches the body.

ODD MATERIAL: Last weekend Paw-Paw and I stopped by a fellow's shop that was surrounded by various iron work (more of that in the news). But the fellow had some material that I have never seen.

It is steel about 8 to 10 feet long. 3/4" wide at the middle with a half oval cross section making it about 3/16" thick at the center. Now the STRANGE thing is this stuff tapers in both directions lengthwise to where it has a round cross section about 1/4" diameter with rounded ends. There was a dozen of so pieces.

He claims it came from a carriage shop. What is it for?
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 06/27/01 22:40:48 GMT

Metal Sticking in Molds: Ron, I've had a similar problem using steel molds for zinc castings. The zinc cleans the mold surface and eventualy the castings start sticking. Sooting the molds help. Luckily we never had a full surface adheasion. We also had extractor pins on some of the molds so you gave it a tap with a hammer to push the part out without damaging it.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 06/27/01 22:50:56 GMT

To Guru or Paw Paw,
A co-worker came to me with an old tool which appears to be some sort of adjustable wrench. it is aprox 18 in. in length.the top jaw is C shaped with an adjusting screw in its base which alows the jaws to open or close the gap between top and bottom from 1 to 2 in. the bottom jaw is straight as on some of the tongs I have made. On one handle is a stamp of an arm and hammer, below that seem to be two words the second of which is "mark" and below that are three letters the last two are "H A". Along the length of the handle is stamped "patent extended Nov 30 1872" the patent # is not readable [yes I did try a rubbing but to no avail ] at the bottom of the handle the # "2". This was found in his barn. Can anyone help to identify this old and hefty tool ? And may I tell him of any value.
thanks .
Mark  <dilligaf at net1plus.com> - Wednesday, 06/27/01 23:20:57 GMT

I thought that since the Hoffi anvil was his own design, had a narrow face, had feet you could upset on, that the extension was to give him increased surface area, somewhere for leveling and or balancing his work on. It anin't a clip block and he don't shoe no horses. (or was that said of sumone else). I think that I heard somewhere that he worked standing at the heal of the anvil with the horn away, like at the stern of the boat. With a narrow faced anvil I would be spending twice the time picking things up off the floor.
drink lots of water,
L.Sundstrom - Wednesday, 06/27/01 23:30:14 GMT

Anvil shelf: Guru, I think you might be referring to the *sketch* of a similar anvil constructed of plate at anvilfire.com/21centbs/anvils/a1_make.htm. But if you look at the *photo* I mentioned you will see that Uri's anvil, which is cast, has exactly this kind of little shelf sticking out the far side of face and level with the face. I am sure you wouldnt want to do any upsetting on this little surface - it really looks delicate.
adam  <adam at whiteson.org> - Wednesday, 06/27/01 23:43:06 GMT

mmmm...baked powdered rabbit pellets....yum.
bet they smelled great when ya baked 'em.
Chad  <NHBlacksmith at aol.com> - Thursday, 06/28/01 00:46:27 GMT

MARK, You have Brown's Adjustable Pipe Tongs which were made in 8 different sizes to handle 3/4" pipe to 7" pipe. They were replaced with adjustable pipe wrenches not too unlike our present-day ones. The pipe wrenches show up fairly frequently at farm auctions. I doubt if they are worth a great deal. Reference: Manning, Maxwell, and Moore Catalog, N.Y., 1894.
Frank Turley  <nudahonga at qwest.net> - Thursday, 06/28/01 01:47:30 GMT

Tom Clark shows a birdseye view of the Urri Hofi anvil on his site, so I can't tell if the anvil has a side horn level with the face or if it's an upsetting block at the far bottom of the anvil and shares a common base. In any event, the old English coachmaker's anvil has a projection that is a couple inches or more below the anvil face and a little above the anvil waist. It is relatively small and it is dorky.

Ref; Richard Postman, ANVILS IN AMERICA, page 24.
Frank Turley  <nudahonga at qwest.net> - Thursday, 06/28/01 02:21:59 GMT

On the subject of the food-safeness of metals. I like to scrounge materials from the scrap yard whenever possible. I found some nice round blanks about 15 inches in diameter, 1/8" thickness. I'd like to turn these into some camp-cook ware. If I heat the steel, scale it and clean it, I figure it's pretty safe. Any thoughts or advice? Thank you very much.
Kevin - Thursday, 06/28/01 03:50:04 GMT

I've seen some ugly anvils, I don't know if I've seen a dorky one yet.
Kevin - Thursday, 06/28/01 03:53:44 GMT

Dear Guru & helpers,
My request is in two parts.
Part 1: Please can you supply general historical/background information with regard to the styles/design & dates of use of aprons/shoeing chaps worn by blacksmiths/farriers in years gone by?
2nd part to question: I have heard mention of aprons with fringes but have not been able to locate any info/photos, etc.- When were they in use? The puropse of the fringing? Drawing/photo?
or were 'fringes' just evidence of heavy use?

Thanking all for your help in suppling this information.
Jennifer Charles  <j.charles at library.uq.edu.au> - Thursday, 06/28/01 04:38:55 GMT

Steel Cookware: Kevin, Almost all steel plate or sheet is safe to use if it is not plated or galvanized. Some bar stock and heavy plate (to flame cut blanks) is leaded for machinability.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 06/28/01 05:40:33 GMT

In a dim, unvented,little shop in Greece the owner made a modest living going into rural Turkish villages with a truckload of new plastic tubs and pots and the like, and trading them for old copper ware in whatever condition.
He'd take them to his shop, hammer out the dents etc and re tin them to sell to the tourists as antiques.
He had a coal forge in his narrow little shop with a dirt floor and stakes forged from old axle ends driven into the dampened clay floor.
He would degrease the copperware really well and scrub with HCL (and steel wool?) and put the piece on the forge and continue to work the acid around as it heated ( no gloves). when the copper was hot enough he put a lump of tin in and took what appeared to be a raw cotton ball, spit on it a couple of times and began to smear the tin around the copper in a circular motion. When the cotton began to smoke a little he pulled it out, shook his fingers to cool them , spit on the cotton again and went back to spreading the tin around, covering first the bottom and working his way up the sides, tilting the copper vessel around. The tin remained placid , no boiling or flashing. He pulled the work in and off to the edge of the fire constantly, keeping the heat controled. Where the copper was reluctant to tin, he spit some more on the working face of the cotton and rubbed the tin till it covered...he got to moving pretty fast as his fingers heated up each spit cycle. when the copper inside was covered with tin, he poured the excess into a "tin" can by the forge and quenched the work ( in dilute acid?). Last he took a wad of steel wool and and went over the tinned surface in a pattern of large swirls which he highlighted in decorative spots by twisting the wad of wool against the tin with his finger tips.
His hands were a mess and his eyes were very red and runny from years of acid fumes.
I showed up with beer in thanks for letting me watch and having no language in common we waved our hands and pointed and he 'told" about his collecting copper in Turkey.
So I think the trouble you guys have had with tinning is probably because you wear gloves and dont spit enough.
Pete F  <ironyworks at hotmail no.comm> - Thursday, 06/28/01 07:05:11 GMT

Thanks for the information.
Mark  <dilligaf at net1plus.com> - Thursday, 06/28/01 08:41:16 GMT

I wanted to know the specifications for a Nazel 12S pneumatic forging hammer. Specifically the ram weight in lbs and possibly the maximum sq size stock worked.
Damien Sharah  <agforge at westserv.net.au> - Thursday, 06/28/01 12:05:02 GMT


The history of the fringed aprons is told in the story THE KING OF CRAFTSMEN on the anvilfire story page. Cut and past this URL into your browser, and it will take you to the index page.

Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Thursday, 06/28/01 12:14:54 GMT

Camp Fenby:

Thanks to Paw Paw and the Guru for showing up. They came a considerable ways, and had to leave early, but it was good to hang out with them. Y'all missed some good crabs (and pizza)!

Our numbers were a little light this year, in part due to an uncanny string of injuries amongst potential attendees. Also, it didn't help that I have been on the road for the better part of four weeks in the last two months (and had flight delays, getting me back to Oakley around noon on Saturday). If it weren't for a lot of help from some good friends, the event would not have come off at all. At least the porta-potties were paid off, so it was a fiscal wash for the Longship Company. (Actually, the objective is not to raise funds; the objective is to have fun, learn stuff and not go broke.)

We were light in the metalworking area, but the cheese making, and soap making came off well and the medieval wood working techniques was a big hit on both days. God(s) willing, our schedules won't be as hectic next year and we'll have things squared away. I never had to fire up my portable forge this time.

Well, sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes the bear eats you. My thanks to Jock and Paw Paw for their support and good fellowship.

Visit your National Parks: www.nps.gov

Come have a row with us: www.wam.umd.edu/~eowyn/Longship/

Bruce Blackistone (Atli)  <asylum at us.HSAnet.net> - Thursday, 06/28/01 12:23:14 GMT

Damien, a Nazel 12S has approximately the same size (750 ld.) ram as a 5B. It is rated to efficiently work 6-3/4" x 6-3/4" mild steel. The total (hammer and anvil) weight of a 12S is 27,100 lb.
Bruce R. Wallace  <service at nazel.com> - Thursday, 06/28/01 12:51:56 GMT

Tin "Flashing": When I used the term "flashing" related to tinning with powdered tin and flux that is when the the surface TINS and you see the bright flash of tin under the flux. The flux is a grey paste and the "flash" is just that, a brightening of the surface. This is VERY thin and more tin must be added immediately.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 06/28/01 14:50:08 GMT

JENNIFER, A book of smiths' stories is contained in David Webber, *The Village Blacksmith*, printed in England. He claims that some of the British farriers still fringe their aprons (1960s).

Aprons from America are shown often in Gil Fahrenwald's blacksmith calendars; anvilman at orcalink.com. These are old photos from the late l800s and early l900s. Shoers' aprons nearly always lacked a bib, and not many blacksmiths' aprons had a bib, either. The farriers had aprons with the vertical split of course, so the horse's front foot could go between the "knees". In the early 1960s, Kennedy-Foster Company was the big smithing tool and equipment supplier. They sold to farriers a mulehide apron that I think was in two pieces riveted at the belly. This allowed two leg-flaps to wrap around the inner thighs, knees, and calves, for protection. If memory serves, it was tied off low, below the belly button, with leather strings.

My mentor/master, Al Kremen, of southern California, had a saddlemaker custom-make his apron in the early 60s. It had a "built-in crotch", the result of sewing in a curved strip of thick sole leather. Each leg of his apron was rounded on the bottom, not straight like the Kennedy-Foster. It had a buckle and strap fastening in back. No velcro in those days. I took my pattern from his, and I still have that style of apron.

About shoeing chaps, western chaps have an open front with a buckle at the crotch, and some horseshoers wear that style. Personally, I don't care for them, and I think they are a development of the last quarter of the 20th century. To each, his own.

There is a good picture, PAGE 93, of several blacksmiths who worked at the Maramec Iron Works near St. James, Missouri, post-Civil War era. The animal hides appear untrimmed; they have natural irregular edges. Most have a waist fold to double the thickness there. I imagine they all have leather tie strings. Ref: FRONTIER IRON by James D. Norris, The State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1964.

Another mentor, Victor Vera, originally from San Luis Potosi, Mexico, said that his father and uncle had deerskin aprons which came all the way to the floor. He claims that they tanned the hides themselves. He said they were yellowish in color when new.

Nowadays, most farriers' aprons and chaps have a rounded bottom on the legs. Some have leather "patches" sewn over the knee-thigh area. Some have knife pockets. A few shoers will sew-patch a small magnet on the apron to hold nails, so they don't have to put them in the mouth. Today's catalogs will picture what is available. Ref: catalog from Wagon Mound Ranch Supply, Wagon Mound, NM.

Why the interest?
Frank Turley  <nudahonga at qwest.net> - Thursday, 06/28/01 15:01:35 GMT

I am interested in aquiring a tredle hammer and would like to know how an "in line" hammer compares to the standard hammer in terms of performance. If anyone has used both and can offer thier opinion as too the merits of each type, I'd appreciate it.
Patrick Nowak - Thursday, 06/28/01 16:17:22 GMT

guru: as the metric system uses SECONDS for time measurements (and yes even for days, weeks...) and actually USES radians it IS decimal:-). the fact that PEOPLE use the other systems is nothing that we can do much about.
OErjan  <pokerbacken at angelfire.com> - Thursday, 06/28/01 19:58:25 GMT

In-Line vs. parallel: Patrick, Treadle hammers work fine with the parallelogram linkage. The in-line links give a little improvement with a lot of additional complexity.

Whichever type you build, DO NOT use lead in the ram. Use steel. There is no purpose for using lead.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 06/28/01 22:57:07 GMT

Paw Paw,
Thank you for your help...I must have missed this page when scanning 'anvilefire.'

Thank you also for the informative reply. Please, could you give me more details regarding Gil Fahrenwald's blacksmith calendars. I went to URL listed, but couldnot locate Gil's calendars. If we have time, we should be able to access the book 'the village blaksmith.'
"why the interest?" you asked: a young friend is a 1st year apprentice farrier, and needs the information for a course assignment & requested my assistance, which increased my interest in the subject of aprons, & especially fringes.

Jennifer   <j.charles at library.uq.edu.au> - Friday, 06/29/01 01:10:32 GMT

Metric System: OE, The Official Metric System recognizes degrees of a circle as well as radians. It is not just lagard conversions or education. . . So the "standardizer" uses two completely different systems for measuring angles.

Decimal radians are a LOUSY system. Fractional radians are much better! Instead of long irrational numbers that most folks don't know when or how to round. .

PI = 180°
PI/2 = 90°
PI/3 = 60°
PI/4 = 45° (the most commonly measured angle)
PI/5 = 36°
PI/6 = 30°
PI/8 = 22.5°
PI/9 = 20°
PI/10 = 18°
PI/12 = 15° (thats a neat trick)
PI/18 = 10°

All the commonly used angles in simple notation!

If you understand the nuances of say the Fahrenheit scale then you know that the difference between freezing water and boiling water is 180°. Thus you could apply the Radian system to temperature measurement and the range is then PI the same as angles. . . .

But on this point both systems are foolishly arbitrary. The ice point is very constant and is used to calibrate temperature measurement equipment. But the boiling point changes with altitude and with time as our atmosphere changes. In a vacuume room temperature is way above boiling! A better standard would be 0 at absolute zero and some even decimal value for the ice point (like 1,000). Then normal temperatures would be ## above K or ##aK. Instead of the large numbers near K you could use negative (-##aK). In this system each standard degree would equal about 2 degrees F so that normal human body temperature would be expressed in an even number of degrees (214.8 or 215 nominal). This system would make sense anywhere in the known Universe so it would be easy to explain to aliens. I'm sure some scientist must have come up with this scale but just in case they haven't, lets call it the guru scale.

But the metric system is anti-fraction (no PI/X) as well as arbitrary, AND therefore also anti-algebraic. In the end the system of the effete techno snobs is anti-thought. . . quite UN scientific and just as arbitrary as the the English system. Sure, its easy to raise values by powers of ten but you can do that in the English system. . .
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 06/29/01 01:15:46 GMT

Story Page: Jennifer, The story page is relatively new to anvilfire and is not yet on all the menus. We are also a little dissorganized. When I originaly designed anvilfire it was fairly simple. In the last four years we have added dozens of new features and the growth of the data has almost been too much to keep up with much less re-organize.

The address Frank gave for Gil was an e-mail address not a URL.

I have never seen a fringe on a blacksmith's apron but I suspect the legend reported by Paw-Paw is IT. Note that the craftsman it applies to is a general blacksmith, not a farrier. There is a big difference.

Most modern blacksmiths that I know use a common welders apron. I cut mine off just above the knee because the longer length makes it hard to move quickly.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 06/29/01 01:29:00 GMT

Subject: Philip Simmons in DC!!! From Barry Myers:

The Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC, is hosting a folk art festival this weekend and next week with Philip Simmons demonstrating and showing young people from his neighborhood the craft. Please check out this site. †If you have friends in the Washington area or are planning to go to DC for the Fourth, you may want to stop by or encourage your friends to drop by his booth in the "Mastering the Building Arts" section.

Tell your friends!

Festival 2001 info
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 06/29/01 01:33:58 GMT


I have a batch of Inconel X750 wire at diameter 0.63mm, it has been heat treated at 4 hrs X 1200 deg.F, hence, it became hard and brittle. And forbiding me to coil into spring. Is there anyway to re-heat it to get it soften ?
Appreciate your earliest reply. Thank you.
Tony Tan  <tonytan at lokit.com> - Friday, 06/29/01 01:52:23 GMT

Wouldn't you know we're actually turning this hair brain'd idea into a working moneymaker? We're starting small, but we think we can really go somewhere with this, if we work at it. Our newly rebuilt forge, and now two anvils work GREAT with lump charcoal and wood chips.. we did some practice and made some NICE axes and a few of the roses we found designs for on iForge. I wanted to take some time to thank everyone who helped us, especially the Guru, and ask for permission from you, oh great guru, to put a link to your page on our own web home and add some special thanks to you there, as well as make sure it's all right for us to make those roses we found on the iForge page and sell them? We had someone offer us fifty for several, and think we could sell more if we made them, and lowered the price (slightly).. they could really help fund our operation! Thanks agian for everything, Guru.. you are a GODSEND.
Yub Yub,
Asgard Act Smiths  <viracnis at aol.com> - Friday, 06/29/01 02:01:02 GMT


Helping is why we are here. Hope you found what you were looking for.

As the guru said, Gil's calanders are not on line. I've bought the last two years (the only two he's done so far) and will buy as many more as he prints.

If you contact Gil via e-mail, I'm sure he will try to help. If he offers to sell you a calendar, it's well worth the money.
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Friday, 06/29/01 02:31:13 GMT

Does anyone know where i can aquire plans for both the in-line and standard type treadle hammers? thanks
Patrick Nowak - Friday, 06/29/01 12:03:57 GMT


Contact Clay Spencer at

clay at grove.net

He sells the in-line, and may still have some of the regular plans.
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Friday, 06/29/01 12:15:39 GMT

I don't know chad; I didn't smell it; never was much into sniffing stuff that *probably* would smell bad...

As for tinning Theophilus describes it in "DIvers Arts" written circa 1120---no copper sulfate used just clean metal, pine pitch and tin.

Thomas Powers  <thomas_powers at my-deja.com> - Friday, 06/29/01 12:19:32 GMT

Tinning: Thomas, I don't think Theophilus was talking about tinning steel (or iron plate), but I may be wrong again. The copper sulfate copper flashes the iron because the iron has a stronger bond to the copper than does the sulphur. The copper then takes the tinning which iron does not do readily. This method is used by platers today as is has for hundreds of years.

At one time outfits like Sears bragged about their "tripple" plating on tools, copper, nickle, chrome. The copper is only a molecule thick and sligthly transparent, nothing to brag about there. But the nickle is important because chrome plating is porous and allows rust. It also doesn't bond as well as the nickle. However many makers have dropped the layer of nickle because of the expense and it is not obvious to the consumer. The problem is they try to make up for its porosity with thicker layers of chrome which tend to chip and peal off partialy, leaving sharp edges. Over time the thicker chrome still allows rust.

The peculiar thing about all of this is that prior to the automobile and our facination with chrome plating many objects were nickle plated. It is not as bright or hard as chrome but for practical purposes it is a better plating. Strange world. . .
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 06/29/01 15:05:59 GMT

I am a new Canadian knifemaker, and have refered to this page a number of times for a wealth of information. What I need to know today is what temperature extremes titanium (6al4v)can stand before its integrity is damaged. In this case it is being used as a spring clamp in a dentist's office and will be sterilized at 450 deg. F. for 1 hr. Will it be damaged over time - do i need to use stainless.

davebolton  <davebolton at smithandboltonknives.com> - Friday, 06/29/01 15:35:01 GMT

Inconel X-750: Tony, Anneal at 1900°F (1035°C). Hold at temperature for 1/2 hour per inch of section (no hold for your thin material but longer (3x) may be benificial). Then cool quickly. (ASM Metals Reference Book, 2nd Edition).

There is some confusion about what quench works best to prevent hardening during the cooling cycle. Water quenching MAY induce cracking. Oil is gentler and rapid air cooling is the safest for thin sections. Sounds like some testing is needed in every case.

For wire I would setup an air quench using compressed air at low pressure. Either two jets from oppisite directions OR a small chamber with spiral air flow so the jet doesn't impinge directly on the wire. This would be setup next to the heat treat furnace and the wire pulled directly from the furnace through the quench.

The trick is to get from the furnace into the quench without a pause alowing the metal to cool and remain at the hardening temperature for any length of time.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 06/29/01 15:49:06 GMT

Ti-6Al-4V: Dave, this alloy anneals at 1300-1450°F. Stress relief is at 900-1200°F. Aging (stabilizing) is at 800-1100°F. Its extreme working temperature is 600-1000°F. (ASM
Metals Reference Book, 2nd Edition)

As a high temperature aplication alloy it appears that there is no problem in your case. However, I do not know how much surface degradation there might be.

NOTE that the "low O2" version of this alloy has a much lower working temperature (325°F). However, exposure at higher temperature should not hurt it.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 06/29/01 16:39:42 GMT

Who is the supplier of Sure-grip tool steel. It is a non-tempering (air hardening) alloy that has a unique cross section. It is square with rounded corners and a half round groove down each side.
JohnC  <careatti at crosslink.net> - Friday, 06/29/01 17:26:06 GMT


Dunno, but it sounds interesting.
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Friday, 06/29/01 17:51:39 GMT

Flutagon (Non-agon?) Steel: John, That odd cross-section (square with round corners and dips between of about the same large radius) was produced by Atlantic steel in their Atlantic-33 alloy (I think).

I have several pieces laying about but I think I heard they had stopped making it in that odd section.

More momentarily.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 06/29/01 18:01:23 GMT

If anyone has seen the video about the blacksmith at colonial Williamsburg I believe his name is John Allgood, can you tell me what make is the anvil he used ?
Jeff  <Breezewayforge at Hotmail.com> - Friday, 06/29/01 18:22:29 GMT

Flutagon® Atlantic 33® (Shaped Non-Tempering Tool Steel):

Altlantic Steel Corp.
35-27 36th Street
Astoria, NY 11106

(From Thomas Register)
215-T Liberty Ave.
Minela, NY 11501

anvilfire NEWS mention

NOTE: They HAD a web site but it is currently down.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 06/29/01 18:38:46 GMT

Old Video: It has been YEARS since I've seen that film (7th grade maybe ~ 1964). However, I do know that at the time they were not using period anvils (I don't know about the video) but I visited the shop in '64.

When Peter Ross took over the job many of the out of period methods and equipment were replaced. The anvils they currently use are all reproductions of the early style anvil
(see our NEWs coverage - Spring 2000 page 3).
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 06/29/01 18:51:58 GMT

Good evening,
My name is Dave Bamford and my question is, what is the best way to forge the head of a dragon?
Dave .B  <dsvr.bamford at freenet.de> - Friday, 06/29/01 19:21:30 GMT

The Williamsburg videos were made from 1960s(?) 16mm films. The overvoice on GUNSMITH OF WILLIAMSBURG is David Brinkley, if you can believe that! The "GUNSMITH" is a 59 minute film/video and overall, an excellently done job, featuring Wallace Gusler as the smith. The blacksmithing movie is HAMMERMAN IN WILLIAMSBURG, 37 minutes running time. I acquired the video cassettes about 8 years ago from The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, P.O. Box C, Williamsburg, VA 23187. Someone at an ABANA conference years ago, told me that when the Allgood shop was set up, the odd looking anvils were cast especially for the shop. I think the operators thought that the pattern was the English pattern of the colonial period. Now, we know better.
Frank Turley  <nudahonga at qwest.net> - Friday, 06/29/01 19:22:12 GMT


Would it be legal/possible to copy the video's that you have?
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Friday, 06/29/01 20:11:48 GMT

Dragon Heads: Dave, The best way depends on what you want it to look like and your skill level. Try to forge a dog head and it will often end up looking like a dragon. Same with goat heads. . .

It is best to work a size stock you are comfortable with. Too big a piece and you may not have the energy (or a power hammer) to do all the shaping. 3/4" (19mm) is a good size but I have seen them made from smaller stock. 1" (25mm) is also a good size if you can handle it.

Normaly a step is forged where the eyes are to go. This determines if the dragon has a long or a short snout. If the step is angled UP toward the snout that leaves more material. After making the eye step then slit the mouth with a hot chisle or a saw. After the rough work then draw down the neck.

After the forging above then most of the work is heavy vise work. A piece of angle iron with a cross bar welded to the top that bridges the jaws of you vise will help keep the work from rotating.

A pointed punch like a long center punch is used to make deep eye sockets and nostrils. If you want special eyes or eyes with a raised center then you need to make a special punch before hand (see iForge demo #65 Matrix Punches).

The mouth is opened up and teeth carved from the edges of the mouth with a sharp chisle. Ears or spikes can be cut in the neck, lines incised for expression or scales set with a special punch.

anvilfire NEWS, Daniel Boone making a dragon

Second time today that page has been useful!

- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 06/29/01 20:20:37 GMT

PAWPAW, The Wmsburg videos are copyrighted, the GUNSMITH, 1969, and the HAMMERMAN, 1973. They are also servicemarked by the Foundation with a small letter "k", but I have no idea what that means. Seems to me that one can get a sale list of their video cassettes from the address I gave above. They did (or do) have other tapes on cooperage, hickory basketry, silversmithing, etc. When I purchased mine, they were about $19.50 each.
Frank Turley  <nudahonga at qwest.net> - Friday, 06/29/01 21:03:32 GMT

Q...Good evening,
My name is Dave Bamford and my question is, what is the best way to forge the head of a dragon?

A...First catch a dragon....
Mark Parkinson  <Mparkinson2 at home.com> - Friday, 06/29/01 21:47:08 GMT

Guru the chapter in Theophilus' "Divers Arts" is the tinning of iron fish. It mentions filing them clean and then immersing them in the tin and stirring them about until they are tinned. IIRC it's near the part on burning feathers onto ironwork to leave a black finish that is appropriate for clerics...I'll get the cite over the weekend but cannot post till Monday.

Thomas Powers  <thomas_powers at my-deja.com> - Friday, 06/29/01 21:56:00 GMT

Hey Frank: Now that you mentioned Victor Vera, how about telling the story about how he came into the USA, and where and from whom he learned to speak "American". One of my favorite stories !
grandpa  <darylmeier at aol.com> - Friday, 06/29/01 22:14:34 GMT

Grandpa, Guru, and Helpers, et al., The story of Victor Vera cannot be capsulated too well. Daryl is asking for one vignette, only a portion of a big ol' saga. I really feel that Victor' tale should be placed in the /21centbs/stories/ section. What to do? Daryl is asking for the time when the teenage Victor and an amigo got across the border from Mexico to the U.S. in the early l900s. Having been brought up in a smithy, he got a job near Brownsville, TX, riveting up boilers. Then, he and a couple of buddies decided that there must be a better way. By the grapevine, they heard that good money could be made in the steel mills in Gary, Indiana. They rode the rails, made their way to Gary, and sure enough, were employed in the steel teeming area of the mill.

Now, you must realize that I met Victor in Santa Fe when he was elderly. There was no mistaking that he was Mexican and that he could still
speak fluent Spanish. But when he spoke English, he had kind of an Eastern European accent. When I queried him about this, he said, "Well, of course! I learned to speak English from my fellow workers at the mill, and they were all from Poland, Hungary, Croatia, and places like that!"

So that' a little bit of the story. My question is, should I ramble on at length about Victor on the Guru's Den? As a hook to the story, Victor was captured by Pancho Villa while he was attempting to hike north to the U.S./Mexican border.
Frank Turley  <nudahonga at qwest.net> - Friday, 06/29/01 23:42:27 GMT

Stories: Frank, A good long tale would best be sent to me as email and then we can post it on the story page.
This past week we've had too many long posts. . . seems I archived a day or two too soon.

Thomas I believe you. But it is MUCH easier to tin over copper, brass or copper flash. Emersion in hot metal is also a lot different that trying to get a small pool of metal to stick and not burn it off while heating an adjacent area with a torch or in the forge. Sheet stock is tinned and galvanized by emersion without copper flash. The liquid metal doing the heating assures the clean metal is not oxidized in the heating process AND its pressure head helps with the adhesion. But in most cases a large pot of melted tin is impractical except in production processes.

Currently there is a "galvanizing" process where no external heat is used. Zinc shot is either blasted at the parts or the parts are vibrated in a vibratory finisher. The zinc sticks to the steel where it impinges on the part. This is how much of that realy thin cheap zinc plating is put on hardware and fasteners. Mostly it keeps the stuff from rusting on the shelf. Its another method that works but is not practical for most craftspeople.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Saturday, 06/30/01 03:24:23 GMT

Q...Good evening,
My name is Dave Bamford and my question is, what is the best way to forge the head of a dragon?

A...First catch a dragon....
A...Second, get it real hot....
Pete F  <ironyworks at hotmail no.comm> - Saturday, 06/30/01 06:48:26 GMT

Q...Good evening,
My name is Dave Bamford and my question is, what is the best way to forge the head of a dragon?

A...First catch a dragon....
A...Second, get it real hot....
A...Hit it real hard....
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Saturday, 06/30/01 10:46:42 GMT

Boys, I think that dragon is already going to be REAL hot after you catch him! The trick is to get him to heat your iron without burning it and holding still while posing. Don't forget to get that model's release.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Saturday, 06/30/01 13:15:23 GMT

I just e-mailed the *Victor Vera, Man of Metal* story to your esteemed webmaster in order that it be posted in the "story section".
Frank Turley  <nudahonga at qwest.net> - Saturday, 06/30/01 16:45:37 GMT

Victor Vera, Man of Metal: is now posted along with Paw-Paw's next chapter of Revolutionary Blacksmith.

Frank's story of Vera is very intresting and worth reading.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Saturday, 06/30/01 21:51:42 GMT
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