John B

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About John B

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    Senior Member

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  • Location
    Dawlish, Devon, UK


  • Location
    Starcross Devon UK
  • Biography
    over 40 years engineer and blacksmith
  • Interests
    promoting and passing on blacksmithing skills
  • Occupation
  1. Mistakes Glenn, been there, done that, got the T shirt, and no doubt will continue to carry on making them, while you are breathing, you never stop learning.
  2. Are you quoting my wife ??? Those who don't make mistakes, never do anything. It is also one of the reasons why this site is so good, if their is some doubt regarding information, someone will usually step in to query it and get an answer. Not necessarily a definitive answer, but an acceptable one.
  3. My Mistake, when we bought coal in from the South Wales and South Yorkshire coalfields we used to break down the cobbles into smaller pieces, even to the size of the sweeping up slack which was down to a fine dust like consistency, and we also used water on it to control the fire (Hence slack tub), Nowadays it comes prepacked and sorted, It is the smaller sizes that are prefered by the majority. Some wet it, others don't, depends on what works best for you. Check with smoke control regulations as it is not classed as a smokeless fuel, but semi smokeless. Apologies again for the mistake,
  4. General opinion from a number of 'smiths who have switched to it, How you manage the coal fire also determines favoured size. Seems to work better/easier than great lumps by bringing workpiece nearer to the heat from the burning fuel
  5. Hi and welcome to the site, if you are in South Wales you should be aware that at Methyr Tydfil there is the Ffos y fran land reclamation scheme which is producing open cast coal suitable for forging, this can be sourced from local coal merchants under the name Gloda, it comes in a choice of three sizes, as smiths we tend to use the cobbles. A local supplier can be found here As for metal, there are many steel suppliers, try yellow pages steel stockholders, or you could look on some of the small industrial estates and see if there are any fabrication or metalworking companies, If you ask and explain what you need it for they may be able to help, also scrap yards, (or recycling facilities) have metal, including car salvage yards for metal to use for tooling. There are many blacksmiths in your area, so visit and ask them if they can help. Have fun with your new past time, if you are ever passing and we are open feel free to drop in at Westpoint and have a chat and a cuppa. See for dates when we will be there.
  6. Pleasure to meet you Ben, and thanks for your contribution to the day. I think you made a good start and look forward to next time when we get down to the more serious (but fun) stuff.
  7. Hi Ben, Welcome to the site, You may benefit by a visit to one of our members days we hold at Westpoint near to Junction 30 services at Exeter on the M%, we have one this Saturday if you fancy coming along and see what we have to offer and how we can help you. If you scroll down to the Groups Forum and check out the BMASW at Westpoint section, you can see some of the things we get up to Look forward to seeing your progress and enjoy doing it.
  8. One method I find effective is to soak an old towel in sunflower oil and drape that all over the face and bick of the anvil. To keep it in place I have a steel plateI I use as a cut off sacrificial plate that has a peg in that fits into the pritchel hole and covers the face of the anvil trapping the oil soaked towelling where it is needed. I do keep it under a shelter outside away from direct rainfall.
  9. Why ???? There are times when it is advantageous to have the horn facing left, The anvil is just a tool, use it to its best advantage. One particular "Do" is always be prepared to question what is occuring and why, there is no proper way, just a safe way, some ways work easier than others. One particular "Don't" is don't assume that because someone seems to be knowledgable that they are, and can back up their talk with actions.
  10. Would that be a branch of the "wroughticus metallicus" variety ?
  11. Hi Frosty, To get some idea for others to work with re clearance/working angle needed, what diameter is your pritchel hole, and how thick is the anvil's heel
  12. Books, here are two free downloads that will serve you well as a guide to the craft, and Print off what you are going to do, and it doesn't matter if they catch fire or get disfigured, you can always print off another replacement page. Remember there is no right or proper way to make something, just what works for you and do it safely. Have fun and enjoy.
  13. These work well for twist tops, they were originally made for a live forging competition, 45 minutes to make something to crack nuts with, and were made from an old car spring, But my wife used them when she damaged her wrist and couldn't get to grips with the twist tops on bottles.
  14. Appreciate your problems sourcing known steels and their cost, In my experience although of unknown metallurgical specification, Torsion bars by virtue of what purpose they are employed to serve have always made good serviceable hammers and other top tools. The only way to find out is to make some tooling and try that tooling out, different samples of a similar size with different heat treating cycles will give you some idea of what the material can be used for. Identify weach piece and make a note of what you did to each one for future reference. It is all good experience, have fun and enjoy
  15. You are welcome Strine, The ends of the spine can be drawn out for your end tines. Cutting the blank, if you mark it out and drill through with 5/8" or 3/4" diameter drill where the slots are, and then use a saw or angle grinder to cut down from the outside edge of the bar to the hole's centreline, you can then draw the tines down, this also has the advantage of smooth transitions on the corners, equal spacings that can be accessed to finish forge, and maximum metal available to draw down for the tine, and all the tines should be similar as each had same volume of material if cut this way, gas axe can produce differing profiles unles you are very good with one. Personally I would go with this drill and cut method if you are going the forging route. If it's only to be used on mulch, then welding on bits should be OK, Whichever way you choose, enjoy and let's see the end product, and its test runs.