• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited


About ThomasPowers

Profile Information

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


  • Location Central NM
  • Interests Iron smelting
  • Occupation bit herder
  1. viking vises

    Not as much need for vises as you had several people working in the shop with the smith so it was easier to have someone hold things for you. The single person in a smithy is pretty much a modern abomination...   Note that the Hausbuecher of Nuerenberg show a lot of ingenious ways to brace things to work on them instead of using a vise. KRS; any other sources backing up this claim that are not based on this one? I found a brief mention of the vise being invented about 1500 in "A History of Western Technology", MIT Press, by Friedrich Klemm but it's not attributed. When I get some time I'll start looking through paintings and illuminations of armour making shops and see when they start showing up in them.  ISTR one in one of the Hausbuecher; but it was probably a later one; locksmithing? whitesmithing?
  2. Show me your anvil

    is there any support under the anvil?
  3. Burner?!?

    Natural gas CH4 propane C3H8 so to get the same amount of C through the fire you have H12 so half again as much to form H2O
  4. First knife I am proud of.

    draw filing will improve it and the dents will still be left...
  5. hunting down leaf springs

    I had a student once that worked at a place that took large pickup trucks and re-built them into EMS vehicles; first thing they did was to change out the springs which were scrapped for liability reasons though they had less than 20 miles on them---the distance from the dealership to the conversion shop!  Unfortunately I didn't need a 50 lifetime supply...
  6. I was given a Peter Wright Anvil but...

    Bolting does not work as well as a fully welded face plate. (Right Patrick?), and by fully welded I mean that the entire face is welded to the base and then will require heat treating.  Refacing by building up may end up easier than welding down a narrow slot and getting 100% bond.   To use an analogy; that anvil is a car missing the engine and transmission; not a simple or cheap thing to repair.  As it is, what's left is very soft real wrought iron; a chunk of fork lift tine would work better as an anvil.
  7. Help with first anvil

    All steels are carbon steels, cast iron has much more carbon than a high carbon steel; please don't use the term till you understand it. ASO is Anvil Shaped Object---generally a cast iron object that looks like an anvil and is sold as an anvil but is less usable as an anvil than a chunk of fork lift tine from the scrap yard. So you attend the SOFA meetings in Troy?  I used to drive from Columbus OH for them...I spent 15 years in Columbus and averaged a great name brand anvil for *under* US$1 a pound every year.  Ohio is the happy hunting grounds for smithing stuff!   See the TPAAAT for how I did it.  Good Brands made in Ohio were: Trenton, Arm and Hammer, (not Vulcan! different anvil totally!) and Columbian.  First two in Columbus the other in Cleveland.  Other good brands include Hay Budden, Fisher, Peter Wright, Mousehole, Sodefors, and literally hundreds of others!   Traditionally made anvils have a high carbon steel face forge welded onto a wrought iron body, later some forge welded to a mild steel body or even the entire top half of the anvil being forged from high carbon steel and welded to a mild base---sometimes even Arc welded..  Fishers had a different process that welded a high carbon steel face to cast iron in their patented process---they are quiet anvils and GREAT.  (Vulcans were similar but skimped on the high carbon steel and had more quality issues) Both are harder to repair if damaged than traditionally made anvils.
  8. VERY old hammer?

    Tools do seem to travel; I once bought a British Army Issue (Broad Arrow) straight peen 7# sledge at a fleamarket in Las Cruces NM
  9. Tool ID Please

    I concur with the wheel weight pliers; I have family friends with an old school tire repair shop that still use a similar pair. The last one is perplexing.  As to "usable"---if you have a task it works for then yes; if not it goes on the shelf till you run into such a task.  Ig you clean it back smooth I could see it being used to round out the end of pipes you have hammered on a bick to flare them...
  10. Monogram S hook

    I can see hooking several of those together for an ornate chain to hang pots over an open fire.
  11. VERY old hammer?

    That style was in use in these parts in the late 19th century and still show up at fleamarkets from time to time.  It's your hammer you can use it if you want to.  I really doubt that it is Renaissance though. Just a place I remember seeing a similar one. Got any old miners you could talk to?
  12. VERY old hammer?

    look in De Re Metallica...
  13. Checking what I am reading/watching again

    Well you can have copper creep in along the grain boundaries resulting in the steel cracking.  I like to put in a pan of cheap clay cat litter when working other metals so any mistakes don't linger to haunt me...
  14. I was given a Peter Wright Anvil but...

    I've seen anvils made as good as new and anvils destroyed by very good welders.  Does he actually know anything about anvils? (if not make sure he reads up about the Robb Gunter method of anvil repair and can do the preheat and use the correct rod and not get spooked by what happens when you weld on real wrought iron.  Generally not much historical value as these things were made by the shipload!  I'd like to see a picture of it before I really say Yea or Nay though.
  15. Help with first anvil

    Patrick how would YOU tell if an anvil was high carbon steel or not?  If you expect the seller to A know and B not mislead you, I can sell you a large bridge in Brooklyn for a very reasonable price indeed!  What you should look for is an anvil made by a reputable manufacturer and check it for delamination and softening of the face due to fire. It really helps if you can get a smith local to you to vet any anvil you are looking at; Not knowing where you are limits the folks who can volunteer. I consider US$50 for a 18" piece of rail to be over priced by about a factor of 5 to 10; of course in the last year I gave a 5' section to a starting smith for free... Not knowing where you at I can't tell if that collection of anvils is worth it or not.  There looks to be 1 "real" anvil in the lot the rest are ASOs and rail anvils.  What is the weight of the real anvil as that and location will control price given that we can see the condition. To me it's over priced. $170 for a Vulcan a decent deal: Yes No Maybe depending on information you don't provide with SIZE, CONDITION and LOCATION being the most important.  Vulcan's are quiet anvils so they won't ring when tapped. They also have thin faces so any sign of someone grinding or milling the face to pretty it up is a sign to RUN AWAY!