bajajoaquin

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About bajajoaquin

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  1. I found your follow up article but the link doesn't seem to work for the videos. Can you post them up here?
  2. So I've been here in India for a few days now (got in late Saturday night). No blacksmithing yet, as I'm in Bangalore wearing slacks and collared shirts in the office. We did a bit of sight-seeing around the city on Sunday with a couple of guys I work with, and went to the central market, which has everything from fruits and vegetables to spices and flowers, to roofing supplies and machinery. It's crazy and awesome. I brought a camera, but of course forgot a cord, so I'll post up some pictures when I get home of that market, as well as whatever I take on Saturday when I'm at the smithy in Kerala.
  3. So going back to the question of capacity, is it a question of over-heating, duty cycle, or just speed that identifies the "capacity" of a particular machine? I mean, at some point, 15kw just isn't enough heat to offset the radiant and conductive heat loss, but in stock sizes that we're likely to see in open-die forging these days, what is the limiting factor?
  4. :) I stand corrected!
  5. Colored pencils! Love it! In Baja California, I used to bring stickers for the kids. For a while, I worked in the surf industry, so there were an enormous amount of free stickers around. Kids loved 'em. Every time I went on a surf trip, we'd hand out a stack. Surfers did it so much, the main word you would hear in English was "sticker! sticker!" Bangalore is.... not a vacation Mecca. But every Indian I've talked to about Kerala has said something to the effect of, "Indians call it 'God's Country.'" I've not thought much of bringing something back from the smith's shop, but I wonder if he'd be willing to sell me one of his hammers. They sure look different from ours. Probably wouldn't work too well from a standing position, but might be neat to have.
  6. Where did you get that copy? It's also more likely to be for the university proper than a "Jr College." Leland Stanford, Jr. was the guy who started the university, so what is commonly called "Stanford University" is called "Leland Stanford Jr. University." Very interesting that there used to be a blacksmithing class there. Much more recently (early 70s), mechanical engineers were required to take machine ship classes as early prerequisites to their engineering classes. The idea was that they had to actually make stuff so that they later didn't design stuff that couldn't be made Perhaps a blacksmithing class is an earlier version of that same philosophy.
  7. Thomas, why were you prevented from typing that? Thanks for the note about forging sitting or squatting. I hadn't thought of that. It could be a problem for me, too! I'll definitely bring some safety glasses. I'll be wearing my reading glasses since I need those now (I didn't last time I posted here!), and hadn't planned on bringing others. But I will now. Any other ideas? As I mentioned, I'm bringing a hammer, but would also bring along some other items if I thought they would be welcome. The company I work for has an office in Bangalore, and I was struck by the way they use granite slabs there. They lay them down over open sewers for sidewalks, they use them as cantelevered fence panels, walls, everything. When I was walking down the street, I saw a mason working one of the blocks with a steel hand drill and a hammer. I remembered Larry's (Monstermetal) thread on sharpening bits for something similar a couple years ago, so it occurred to me that there must be a "smithing quarter" in the city where these things were done. I started asking my colleagues, and they were puzzled why I would want to go and do it. Anyway, fast forward to planning for this year's trip, and one of my colleagues invited me to his family home in Kerala, which is widely said to be one of the most beautiful states in India. He said he had this set up with the rubber tapper, and I'm even more excited to find out that we'll be there for half a day, rather than just a half hour tour or something. I've also ended up with a Hercules bicycle (with the cool rod-operated hand brakes) and am trying to figure out how to get a Lister stationary diesel disassembled and sent home in pieces. But those are stories for another time.
  8. I haven't been around here in a while, as some other priorities have taken up a lot of my time. However, I thought I'd check in again. I work for a company with offices in India, and I'm going back this year for a week-long visit. One of my colleagues has invited me back to his family home for the weekend. His father-in-law owns a rubber plantation and it turns out that he employs a blacksmith to make the rubber taps and do part-time rubber tapping. Having hear me talk about smithing and how little I get to do, he arranged for me to go and work with the smith for half a day or so while I'm there. I'm pretty excited about it. I don't know what we're going to do exactly, but I think he's going to try to teach me to form the local versions of machetes and rubber taps. I'm bringing along a hammer to give him in addition to paying him for his time as a token. Anyone else ever forged in a local's shop while traveling far around the world? Any advice?
  9. One of the details of your question seems to have been overlooked: If you heat it up to sparking, you're going to be burning the steel, particularly a higher-carbon steel like a mower blade. At those temps, it's really easy to go a little too far and end up with a lot of nothing on the end of your tongs. But as you get more and more into smithing, you'll learn that sort of stuff. Save the blade for another time, and start with mild steel.
  10. We had a discussion about it in the "Anvils" section, and came up with the formulae that produce those curves. Here's my take on it; For hand-hammering, it is worth while to get the best possible mass ratio, because you are very limited in the amount of energy you can put into a single blow. Therefore, there's a big difference between something like 80% and 95% efficiency. For a power-hammer, it may be cheaper to make a larger tup, or put on more RPM than it is to design-in and purchase a larger anvil. Going from 25lb to 50lb is much cheaper on the tup than it would be going from 250 lb to 500 lb. You can just hit it a couple more times without getting any more tired.
  11. That would be Stewart. He has some original cushions. Matthew Gregroy is rebuilding a 40-lb hammer and (I think) had his cushions poured. Do a search on "Bradley" and you'll come up with the info.
  12. One of the things Postman says in his book is that there are tons (literally) of anvils out there without markings that are good anvils. If there aren't any markings, it will be difficult or impossible to identify. When you get it home, you should take a wire brush to the side opposite the weight markings and see if anything clears up. Chalk and wax can help, too. Having said that, it does, indeed look English to me. The triangular profile on the feet, and the squat proportions say early London to me (I can't remember exactly what Postman's classification for this period is). It's tough to tell age from that, since Peter Wright, for example, changed to the more elongated London pattern at some point, but Moushole never did. If I remember correctly, if it has a pritchel hole, it's after 1850. Some time in the early 20th century, things started being stamped "made in England" I think. So I will guess it to be an English wrought anvil from between 1850 and 1900.
  13. That there is a good idea. I'm gonna steal me that one.
  14. Ptree doesn't tell us the original weight of the anvil, but some assumptions and some math explain the reason for the improved performace on Ptree's new anvil. If he was at 15:1 with a 32lb ram, the original anvil was 480 pounds, and 77% efficient. When he went to a 45lb ram, he increased the weight 28%, but the efficiency of the anvil went down to 67%, which means the performance only went up by 20%. So that means, in round numbers, he only got two thirds of the increase in performance he expected. If his anvil was under-weight to begin with (say 300 lb), then his anvil would have gone from 65% efficient to 55% efficient, and he would have only seen a 15% increase in performance for his 28% increase in size, or about half of what he would expect. None of this goes to the discussion about tire hammer versus Rusty, but it does say that anvil size is important. If you build a bigger ram, you have to make the rest of the hammer stronger and heavier, meaning more expense, and more wear. But if you maximize the size of your anvil, you get extra hitting power for "free." (Of course, it's not free, but you don't have to scale up the rest of the strengths to accommodate a larger anvil.)
  15. It's the citric acid in the orange clean, I think. When I was doing a bunch of searching about stainless, I came across that. You might try some stronger citric acid on your stove to see how it does. I found that the best deal on citric acid was through Amazon.com. (Beeswax, too, if you're making a wax finish.) You can buy a 5lb bag of granulated acid for..... I don't remember, but it was cheaper than I found elsewhere.