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About ThomasPowers

  • Rank
    Senior Moment Member; Master Curmudgeon

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  • Gender Not Telling
  • Location Central NM/El Paso TX Area, USA
  • Interests Iron Smelting


  • Location Central NM
  • Interests Iron smelting
  • Occupation bit herder
  1. Bouncing metal

    I had a job that allowed me to grow it until we could braid it, now it's much shorter, sigh. Though they still call me Santa Claus on the Factory Floor in December.   Used to only  trim it with the propane forge's dragon's breath...
  2. "Mica" is vermiculite by the way; any of the list is ok you don't need a mix...
  3. "Heating for forging must be done slowly and uniformly. Heat through at 1800 – 1950°F, but avoid prolonged soaking, and reheat as often as necessary, stopping work when the temperature drops below 1600°F. After forging cool slowly in lime, mica, dry ashes or furnace. S-5 should always be annealed after forging." they also have a bunch of info on heat treating
  4. Linseed paint

    I've seen more than one discussion of "black armour" based on certain illuminations that come to a screeching halt when you point out that they were originally done with silver leaf and were shining silver---the black is due to 400+ years of aging
  5. It followed me home

    Smell of that pun is worse than that of rendering... Yes the tour was a hoot, started at 11 pm as I recall and we left in the early hours of the morning, 2? That storage building severely strained my "thou shalt not covet" though how I would power that steam hammer....
  6. Bouncing metal

    I was making the shaft for a stake anvil I made using a RR spike driving sledge as the head.  I will try to get a picture of the finished item posted tonight---it's on a computer in a different country right now... As for "social advice" for working large stock----Make friends with smiths with large equipment!   This is not my shop; but rather a shop where the 100# Little Giant powerhammer was one of the *smaller* ones!  I believe in that picture I am headed toward the 200# Chambersburg. For special advice on working large stuff:  work as hot as possible---since this was mild steel we were getting it up to welding temp in the gas forge.  We know that as another person sharing the forge accidentally welded their 3/4" round stock to my piece when shift it in the forge---no flux, no nothing; she just shoved it further in so the hot end ran up the side of my piece and welded---took a sledge to hammer it off! Note that although it was a warm day I'm not exposing skin and my glasses are polycarbonate lenses in rated frames.
  7. New to the forum,

    I'll have to dig out the picture of the blacksmithing shop in my book on American Prisons...
  8. Am I about to pay too much for this vice?

    Most probably not Victorian, the Made in England usually dates till the after 1910 when the USA passed a law that imported items had to be marked with country of origin and so it was added to a lot of things just in case they got exported.  I would consider that several times too high unless it was a particularly collectable items; whereupon I would leave it to the collectors.
  9. Zinc question

    What exactly are you talking about?  "Please tell me if I'm holding a piece of zinc or a piece of stainless in my hand right now!"  Pretty hard to tell with no data right? If I say it was a piece of milk handling plumbing you could say "if it's metal almost certainly stainless" If I say it was from some household plumbing: more likely zinc plated. As stainless is very expensive to make items out of; unless we know more about it I would have to guess zinc plated. Now as to is it safe: Yes, No, Maybe depending on data you didn't supply.  If it will be kept "cool" say under 400 degF then yes. If it will get hot than possibly No. You know what you have and how you intend to use it---you have to tell or show us, (or both!)
  10. Damascus steel chefs knife wip (problem with etching)

    Ferric chloride is a great etchant, it works on most metals except Titanium, (even gold!).  I hope you discarded the contaminated stuff from your first attempt so as to not have it possibly affect the second attempt.  Also DO NOT POUR IT DOWN YOUR PIPES just in case they are metal somewhere along the route!
  11. Bouncing metal

    Rather than use tongs you weld a rod onto the end that you can hold onto. example a piece of  1" sq stock welded to some 2.5" sq stock: and in use
  12. Need to ID and anvil

    none of my kids were interested in smithing so now I'm hoping one or more of the 7 grandkids will be!
  13. Family anvil

    Go look at it and tell us sometime.
  14. Family anvil

    I don't know what country you are in but here in the USA the very thin heel  might indicate a Arm and Hammer or Trenton.  Is the underside of the heel undulating?
  15. Broke Newbie with Anvil Envy

    Stump! chisel out a hole that sledge fits in; or stump lag down  a couple of pieces of 2x6 with a semicircle cut in them probably two or 3 high with the sledge head trapped between them.