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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

ThomasPowers's Activity

  1. ThomasPowers added a post in a topic: Cats in shop   

    If cats are making you sneeze maybe you are using too much pepper in the recipe.
    As to long term environmental issues I don't think you have to worry about things that take decades to cause problems; I'll ask my daughter though, (she's in vet school)  I asked my 2 cats about it and one sat on the keyboard and the other said I should feed them till they were too fat to move...
  2. ThomasPowers added a post in a topic: Tell me your favorite anvil story   

    went to our local forging get together and worked on making a stake anvil from a section of 1.5" sq stock and an old drilling sledge hammer head that we are forging down the ends to resemble a medieval armour making one.
    Big hit of the day was twisting the 1.5"  Pep didn't have a large twisting wrench to hand so he quickly cut the end off a piece of sq tubing and welded it to the side of a piece of pipe and we both grabbed an end, stuck it on the top end of the shaft and made a lovely twist.  Pep posted a pic of it on instagram while it was still glowing...
    1.5" was still much easier to work than the 2.5" sq piece I used for my last stake anvil...
  3. ThomasPowers added a post in a topic: Traveling/ portable anvil stand?   

    For another suggestion.  I once sourced a hollow log to use as a traveling anvil stump---Traditional "stump" for the crowd but a lot lighter to transport.  Band it top and bottom and with an inset piece in the top so it looks "solid... the open base makes it sit more securely on rough ground.
  4. ThomasPowers added a post in a topic: Lin   

    Could this be a confusion with the super quench recipe that does use things like dreft but doesn't use borax?
  5. ThomasPowers added a post in a topic: Hello to everyone   

    You can also wait until you scrounge a piece of "worn out" rail with the top nice and flat and quite work hardened.
  6. ThomasPowers added a post in a topic: My First Anvil   

    If making a wooden base I suggest running the blocks vertically to cut down on the number of interfaces all with a bit of give in them.  Takes the same amount of wood and increases rigidity.
  7. ThomasPowers added a post in a topic: Setting up a furnace, with a couple questions   

    Crucibles are what the experts call them in making wootz and other crucible steels, exp " The base of the crucible was either rounded or pointed, an important point to note as the resulting crucible steel ingot would reflect the crucibles interior shape. " Dr Feuerbach in "Crucible Steel Production and Identification"  Indicating that the crucible was used to hold the melt as it cooled.  
    And yes they were 1 shot deals and the crucibles were then crushed and used as grog in making more crucibles.  Crucible steel was an expensive process in the early days!  Teeming would help to hold the cost down nowadays but for wootz you need the slow cooling so you would be in fact pouring from one crucible into another heated one and setting that one back in the fire.  Hmm might be a good idea if you wanted to make a number of pucks of the same melt and experiment with the thermo cycling 
    If you want to play around with doing your own and making modifications to the alloying elements then this is probably the cheapest way.  Ask steel companies how much for a 5 pound melt with very specific alloy specs and very specific heating and cooling requirements and how much for a dozen different runs!
    Over at Sword Forum International there was a fellow experimenting with using thermite to alloy steel and was getting some interesting results---until he posted that he was going blind. I guess his safety equipment was not as good as he thought it was.
  8. ThomasPowers added a post in a topic: High dex work gloves   

    Have you tried tig gloves?
  9. ThomasPowers added a post in a topic: Setting up a furnace, with a couple questions   

    1.8 HP seems pretty high, I'd think a good blower with a 1/2 hp motor would do fine.  Charcoal takes a soft blast and remember they used to do this with hand powered bellows.
  10. ThomasPowers added a post in a topic: Hensley anvil on CL   

    As I recall I saw a very similar farrier's anvil at Centaur Forge for $450.  You are allowed to look at the new anvils at the various blacksmith supply places and buy one there if you can't find a good one locally; so Centaur Forge, Blacksmith's Depot, Pieh Tools, Old World Anvils, Nimba Anvils, Fontanini Anvil and Tool, etc.
    As such you will find they are in general powerfully expensive!     Have you used the TPAAAT to find anvils that are not listed for sale by people trying to sell anvils for a profit?
  11. ThomasPowers added a post in a topic: Please help identify anvi   

    what do you plan to do with the creosoted lumber?  Or did you mean rail?
  12. ThomasPowers added a post in a topic: What is it that really turns you on in Blacksmithing ??   

    Thank you for posting all of this; I squinted and saw the comma instead of the period in between the nails and the money; Time for new glasses.
  13. ThomasPowers added a post in a topic: Stainless steel axle usable?   

    Good size for some hammers and if he bought and installed it you should be able to track down what alloy it is.
  14. ThomasPowers added a post in a topic: Pure Iron Availability?   

    If I may make another suggestion: I don't know if the silicon content will cause issues with your use case; but electrical steel is very low in carbon and is found currently in the USA! (I would try for the lowest silicon version to help factor that out.)
    "Electrical Steel
    Electrical Steel is the kind of steel used in magnetic cores for transformers, generators, and motors. Electrical steel has minimum carbon content and more silica content." 
    "For this reason, the carbon level is kept to 0.005 % or lower"
    I have some laminations I picked up for use in billets; I have not tried working them separately.
  15. ThomasPowers added a post in a topic: Stainless steel axle usable?   

    Yes, No, Maybe;  knowing what alloy would help a lot.  However the original use says it would probably be good for anvil tooling (and are you sure it's stainless and not "chrome molly"?)  Probably not an alloy for slitters, may make good punches.  What size?  Hammers are a possibility too.  Note that it will probably be a bear to forge---have a friend hold while you sledge.