John B

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About John B

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    Senior Member

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  • Gender Male
  • Location Dawlish, Devon, UK


  • Location Starcross Devon UK
  • Biography over 40 years engineer and blacksmith
  • Interests promoting and passing on blacksmithing skills
  • Occupation Blacksmith

John B's Activity

  1. John B added a post in a topic: Hello from across the pond!   

    Hi Matt, Welcome to the site, put in your location and there has to be someone who can help near you. 
    Check out the Blacksmiths Guild UK in the groups section. We have numerous sledge hammer heads, forging stakes and other useful items that can be purchased by members, Plus other help we can give.
    Enjoy your new addiction.
  2. John B added a post in a topic: Guild AGM 2015   

    We will be holding the Guilds AGM at Westpoint EX51DJ on Saturday March 28th at 11.00am  there will be a buffet lunch available after,  bring along any tools or other blacksmith related stuff to sell or trade,  forging and demo's through the afternoon and an evening BBQ and hoolie with Merv and friends. Day will start at 09.00am for putting up marquee and setting out stuff, refreshments and bacon butties available. 
    After the business part of the meeting Terry Clarke will be informing us about the 2016 Ypres Cenotaph of remembrance  project, and Sally Clarke will be talking about the Worshipful Company's Tonypandy award.
    After the IBF, this is a crucial time in developing the future of the guild, so if you want to be part of that, come along and join us, Sunday will be a forge in day, 
    I also have details of a load of surface rusted steel going begging, if anyone is interested pm me.
  3. John B added a post in a topic: 6x4 headache saw?   

    ​You can walk away if you choose to, but keep an ear out for when the blade jams
    and if you don't catch it in time the motor overheats and the thing catches fire,
    As for swivelling arms, it can take as long to set up as a swivelling vice, and the structure of the bandsaw is somewhat flimsy 
    Have you considered using an chopsaw for mitres or even cut off, the local farriers use these and they are surprisingly good, more info here
  4. John B added a post in a topic: 6x4 headache saw?   

    Personally I would go for a good old fashioned power hacksaw aka Donkey saw, they will far outlast the majority of bandsaws on offer, Plus you can let them run on their own happily, whilst you get on with other things
  5. John B added a post in a topic: Pillar drill buying advice   

    Hi Joel,
    Looks like a sound piece of useful drilling machinery, but how much of an update is it from your existing drill?
    And what differential value would you put on it, against the purchase of a new one with guarantee.
    Does it work? how accurate is it? what advantage does it have over the existing unit? Table swivel adjusts to incline? or fixed at 90 degrees to spindle 
    If it does go wrong are you going to have hassle with its previous owner ? (not unknown for mice nests in motor etc)
    Or would you want to invest the money towards something which would be suitable for now and your future requirements,
    Your call at the end of the day.
  6. John B added a post in a topic: Pillar drill buying advice   

    Hi Joel, just to add to Alan's advice, 750watt single phase with industrial rating usage is advisable, also a rack and pinion table height adjuster is definately recommended
    From a practical point, you do not need the high speed rpm range, and with stepped shank drills you can drill up to 25mm + diameters relatively easily.
  7. John B added a post in a topic: Hello from East Yorkshire, England   

    Ay up Carl, welcome to the site, you need to do a bit of lakin abaht and then have a go.
    As mentioned previously you can find us in the groups section Blacksmiths Guild UK, If we can be of assistance either bring it up her or cantact me through the website  link for courses.
    Good luck wi'  t' new addiction, and have fun.
  8. John B added a post in a topic: Pure Iron Availability?   

    Another UK supplier is , they are part of a larger group who supply internationally and were looking to market and distribute in the US a couple of years ago, may be worth an email to see if they have outlets over there.
  9. John B added a post in a topic: first gate project   

    If the gate is tight, you could step it back and mount to the rear of the verticals.
  10. John B added a post in a topic: Trying to make an Owl   

    Thank you for the comments, glad to be of some assistance. 
    Regarding the eyes, funny old things eyes, they are recessed and yet pop out, 
    With the owls, most have a seemingly flat side at each side of the beak/eye area, and by punching in at that area to create the flats on the round bar, it raises the centre to allow for the beak being created. 
    (These could be flat punches with a recessed ball punched centre, much like a domed rivet head snap but with a larger outer area, that would then give bulging eyeballs.)
    As for the beak effect , it was done using a small curved chisel, you may be able to see more clearly on this enlarged/doctored pic

    The incisions also move a little more metal to give a slightly more raised area which fools the eye into thinking its a beak.
    Much of animal effects are judged by the eye, and the overall effect, and are not really what they are like, it looks like a beak,  this method also does not leave a sharp pointed area to be a danger area as it would be if you went in with a chisel, an alternative method to raise the beak.
    Also makes it more tactile and usable if used on key rings, bottle openers etc.
  11. John B added a post in a topic: Trying to make an Owl   

    Apologies for the delay in posting this response, but I had to retrieve this sample from my old scrap items box, and wire brush it to show details, before taking pics.
    Here is the first trial one I made many years ago, and kept as a good sample of a bad job,
    Made with similar to the method you appear to have used, but with some glaring faults on,  IE tail/wings being too long, and thus not settling in the correct plane, and the incised 'chest feathers' the wrong way.
    This head/winged cowl was not firewelded but some later ones were, I didn't find firewelding necessary, but it did improve the overall look of the finished item, patience is the key of you are going to weld this top area, or you will lose definition on the rear wings details.
    You can use a half round swage for support (or the step on the anvil to cutting plate area if your anvil has one) when punching the eyes in to hold it steady.
    If there is any marked swelling representing ears is/are present, a few strokes with a hot rasp will solve that problem.
    Made from 16mm (5/8") round bar
    Hope this helps, Have fun.
  12. John B added a post in a topic: Questions On Making Tongs   

    Have a look here Lesson 37 page 100 on,
    Decide what type of jaws you want and allow for that when starting, just practice flat bit first, then you can adjust to suit. once you have the technique, you can adjust sizes for each purpose.
    for a rivet, piece of bar, leave 3 x diameter of bar when fitted loose, then heat assembly, dome over from each side progressively, until jaws tight'ish, work jaws to ensure free movement, last few hits, quench and work until cool, then anneal and you should be ready to go.
    Have fun
  13. John B added a post in a topic: Glove swap   

    Have you considered the old fashioned "Blacksmiths glove" one off suits right or left hand, fits all sizes, easily removed, made from surplus or old leather aprons.
    Cut off a strip sufficient to cover your hand and a half width, and approximately twice the length of wrist to fingertips.
    Cut a slit at one end sufficient for your hand to pass through, and use this to protect the palm and fingers of your hand, 
    You can then hold with the 'glove' or quickly let it go free, and grip anything needed with your exposed fingers, replace to cover the palm when needed.
  14. John B added a post in a topic: Monckton   

    Bit more information;
    Ffos-y-fran welsh dry steam coal   
    Welsh Dry Steam is a naturally occurring semi-smokeless fuel - much softer than anthracite, but more clean-burning than house coal.
    Usually used to 'raise steam' in railway engines, traction engines and steam-powered boats - also available for domestic use and offered in three sizes - Cobble / Large Nuts / Small Nuts under the trade name of 'Gloda' - produced at the Ffos-y-Fran colliery in South Wales.
  15. John B added a post in a topic: Monckton   

    For an alternative for the long term future, consider this source there are agents who will supply to you.
    Good reports from people who have used it, it was on sale and to test at the IBF in 2014, and it is not as expensive as the Monckton coke.

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  1. beth » John B

    thanks for link john - i crawled through your threads in the end and got it - and have now printed alot off - its brilliant thanks! re a leafing course do you think youll be running one next year or sometime? i suppose you need to get some idea about demand... hope all well with you, cheers john beth