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  1. Coal forge has IR problems as well, tho the coal on top of the fire makes it less intense generally than propane. I use #3 welding shades when I need to stare in either one and avoid staring when not protected. UV is negligible from coal.
  2. Do you use the far edge much? I'm right against my stand when I'm using the far edge for half-face blows.
  3. I agree with littleblacksmith: the stand puts you too far from the edges of your anvil. If you had a narrower (both dimensions) stand, you'd want to bolt it to the floor or at least a plate.
  4. Consider getting Mark Aspery's 3rd volume: Mastering The Fundamentals Of Traditional Joinery. (Actually, consider getting his whole series.)
  5. The finish grinding of your hammer face may be as much an issue as your technique. Your general purpose hammer should have a slightly convex face with a radiused edge. This slight curve means that the hammer will make a nearly imperceptible divot even when a bit off of a flat blow. The other issue is being able to hit with good alignment. You might try hammering wood for a while. It will leave a very easy to read record of the alignment of each blow. Note that forging generally proceeds from major movement of metal where power is more important than precision to finish work where precision is more important than power. That is, as you approach final form, ease off and focus on precision.
  6. removed: duplicated information already mentioned
  7. You seem to have missed the more typical "bladesmith" models and only looked at the "access" models. The site claims to reach welding temperatures even on the "access" models. I suspect that these have been tested to do exactly that. And, the site notes that the "access" models are for special purposes like sculpture and armor. On the other hand, the "bladesmith" models feature ceramic fiber insulation in addition to the ceramic floor / hearth. Obviously, the enclosed models will use less fuel to maintain heat. I can't answer the OP's question, tho, as I don't have any direct experience.
  8. I prefer to have my 120# fastened. Stand to the floor and anvil to the stand. As an aside, I uploaded a video to YouTube prior to having the stand bolted to the floor. YouTube offered to stabilize the video even tho it was made with a tripod! No such offers since I bolted the stand down.
  9. You are correct: didymium block a very narrow band of light and do not provide meaningful IR protection. They simply make excessive exposure comfortable :-(. I use some 3M flip up #3 welding shades on my safety glasses. They are rated for IR protection. #5 is too much for most blacksmithing purposes. I typically don't use the shades except when forge welding. At other times, I avoid starting into the coal fire (that's surprisingly difficult at first). When I use propane, I flip them down to look into the forge. With coal, I generally count revolutions as I spin my blower to estimate heating so I don't look into the fire much for general heating. With induction heat, I only flip them down for welding heats where I have to really watch the metal. Judging color is really only a big deal in tempering and I assume the IR output at those temperatures is harmless. For forge welding, the real key is looking at the behavior of the scale. Once it melts, you're there. Also, you can compare to the forge (coal or propane) background. The welding shades affect both the stock and the forge so it's an easy comparison. When the stock is the color of the forge, you're there. For coal this is the color of a modest blast and can vary a bit. For propane, you've set your forge to the settings you know reach welding heat so it's pretty accurate.
  10. You're looking at 800 amps probably (the LH-15a does 800 amps). Get the 8mm flare fittings. Your water cooler is probably already lower than your induction heater, but just in case: if your cooler isn't lower than your induction heater, coil change will be a wet mess. P.S. I would expect that any quick release fittings would basically weld themselves together!
  11. One thing to think about is that you are accumulating (to some extent) hot air under the carport. This reduces the heat differential that drives the airflow. If sparks are your main concern, consider fabricating a spark arrestor from metal mesh. Make sure that the arrestor has enough surface area to avoid choking the airflow.
  12. You are both doing the community a big service with your efforts and advice! It's much (and widely) appreciated!
  13. arkie: I'm kinda guessing here, but I think you would get better results if you ran the chimney out and then up outside of your carport even if you didn't get above the peak of the roof. I'm imagining going out the back, not top, of your side draft hood and securing 10 feet (at least) of chimney to one of the uprights. Obviously, I'm imagining that you rotate your forge 90° so the back is to the outside. You could go out the side of your hood if you wanted. Also, 8" is a bit marginal. 10" is better. 12" is probably about as good as good as it gets. After 12", your "returns" from increased diameter is probably negligible.
  14. My clinker breaker is exactly like that. Never used it tho. My clinker never ends up stuck in the slots. When I'm lazy, I sometimes end up with a clinker that is a foamy impression of the bottom 2 inches of my firepot, but still nothing in the slots. I'm guessing that's more a characteristic of the coal I use (which has always been the Saltfork Craftsmen coal).
  15. I have successfully welded a leaf spring of unknown provenance to itself. My conclusion (just a guess really) from that success is that the spring wasn't 5160. It is probably easier to weld 5160 to mild steel than to itself. You could try that just to see what happens. Also, why 5160 to 5160? Wouldn't you use 15n20 or similar for contrast? I'm not a fan of unknown ("junkyard") steels. They cost too much.