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About ThomasPowers

  • Rank
    Senior Moment Member; Master Curmudgeon

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. My wife is working on her sainthood as she did not complain a bit about unloading part of the minivan and letting me add 3 sacks of coal to it and then reloading on the way out of Quad-State Sunday. I picked up a postvise for $40 which was quite a bit cheaper than most I saw that still had a decent screw/screwbox on them...goes to my apprentice. Got lots of H13 rod for punches and a nice chunk of Ti (CP2?) Bought a couple of tongs and a wrench to make a twisting wrench from, some books---Including Steves as he was pointing out that I suggest JPH's and not his. So I can read Steve's and start suggesting it as well... Topped off the load with some blacksmith themed T shirts and it was all uphill to NM!
  2. Home Built: I like the various tire hammers Commercial: I like Champions, Chambersburgs, etc. Treadle hammers are not power hammers. Most blacksmithing tools have relatively specific use cases and so if you want to do a lot of a specific process you would do well to get the tool most appropriate for it. Trying to use a tool outside of what it's best for can result in problems/injuries. Note that the red one has the user standing in the "throw path" if there is a weld failure on the hammer head. (possible if the weldor did not use proper process for high carbon steel welds)
  3. Complaints to the FCC and the state's Utilities Commission are tracked here in the USA. (I used to work for Bell Labs...)
  4. First please remember that there were hundreds of vise manufacturers and many did not mark their output. Marks can be on the screwbox, on the legs and on the backs of the jaws. Some vises have a weight stamp as they were often sold "by the pound" (I have 2 with weight stamps, one was a 40 and the other a 100). Also, LOCATION can make a big difference in what brands may be common. Way over 100 countries participate on this web site (World Wide Web == www part of the url...) Editing your profile to list a *general* location can help keep the "where are you at?" posts to a minimum.
  5. Welcome, please update your profile to show a general location. Will we be seeing you at Quad-State in a couple of weeks?
  6. Yes a firepot *could* be made from it. It would take a lot more work and not be nearly as usable as one made from a much smaller (car or light pickup) brake drum; but it could be done... What I would use it for is a base for something like a tong rack or a hammer rack.
  7. Wax with a bit of solvent would work, For that matter vaseline should work and be available---think of it as a low grade cosmoline.... I'd try to use something you like the smell of when you put hot iron on it. For longer term storage boiled linseed oil comes to mind. when I soak the ends of hammers in it I use the rag to wipe down the heads, anvils, postvises, etc---and then burn the rag in the forge so no unintended fires...
  8. Good, don't forget you probably need to test each one you use as a manufacturer can change what they use and their process at the drop of a penny! With time you find out that some brands/ages seem to tend towards better metal---which generally is just lulling you till you spend a lot of time on one only to find out that it was case hardened...
  9. I believe he was talking about the original Al pour as he mentioned the cope and not the subsequent use for sinker casting. And I would advise the same: either weight it or use latches on them. Just as a safety precaution if nothing else, if a cope "pops" up having molten Al coming out the sides is unpleasant...
  10. A "hammered" finish on bolsters can hide a multitude of sins...
  11. I don't "collect" them; I buy and use them! So I'm happy to miss some sizes and have extra of the ones I really like. It's interesting too to have different handles on the same style head and see how that changes how the hammer feels in use. I will admit to shelling out more than I usually do when I ran across a good sized sledge from the Lynch Collection at Pennsic one year. As I recall I paid US$35 for it which is several times my next most expensive hammer's cost. As I do a bunch of historical demos they are good in a "not blatantly modern" look and some of them can be spot on for certain places/times.
  12. I just spent a week in Austin on a business trip and I think I averaged a person a day referred to the Balcones Forge group for more information on smithing. (I had picked up another copy of "The Backyard Blacksmith", Sims, at Half Priced Books exit 251, as my copy has not made it back after being loaned out; it spent the work week behind the desk at my hotel as both day and night shift clerks were interested...So I guess I am still using a variation of the TPAAAT...)
  13. I rather like european hammers from the Lynch collection...I will be keeping my eye out for them at Q-S, unfortunately my cheapness holds down my purchases---save for the time I bought 11 of them for US$5 a piece at QS of course...I try to have backups for all my favorite tools as sourcing them slowly over time is a lot cheaper than needing to buy one *NOW*!.
  14. Solid Phase Welding can take place at room temperature---galling a bolt is a common example, as is explosive welding, vacuum welding, etc. Basically there are 3 major factors: Heat, Pressure and Cleanliness; max any of them and you have a chance at welding. Blacksmiths tend to use all three so we don't have to go to the max on any of them. So if you had extra pressure and reasonable cleanliness you could get a weld at a lower temp than usual.
  15. Yes no maybe depending on a lot of factors. Meteorites range from totally metallic to totally stoney where is the one you are using in that range? (Need an official test report probably) Scale generally melts at upper welding temps and does act to keep O2 from the weld area, but is not a very aggressive flux. (Real wrought iron used to use the included slag as it's welding flux plus a bit of clean quartz sand if you wanted more---not an aggressive flux either!) If what you are doing works for you then it's a "good" method.