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
  1. village blacksmith

    Most bandsaw blades I have been involved with were flash butt welded usually on the welder supplied with the machine, others I have done have been oxy acetylene, mig or tig welded, the weld should be ground off to the same thickness as the blade, and the area where the weld is should be annealed. No need to reharden and temper, blade must be flexible. 
  2. K Blasting at Galmpton for details, but be advised that the works location is not at the address or postcode registered on Yellow pages, but in the old quarry off Kiln Road, it is on the same site as Marina Developments, whose address is  Dartside Quay, Galmpton Creek, Brixham TQ5 0EH, If you google their details and go to the aerial picture, you can see the K Blast buildings as you enter the Quarry. This company sandblasted and hot zinc sprayed the panels that were made at the 2014 International Blacksmiths Festival that are now installed for all to see at Westpoint
  3. Its the same stuff as what you have access to, just been graded, I would try what you can easily access first, you can always break it up into smaller pieces, try it before you go off looking for something you prefer the sound of,  As a kid I used to pass many a Saturday morning smashing large lumps of coal into smaller more usable sizes for my old Grannie to use throughout the week in her hearth.
  4. Show me your bottle Openers

    It helps to pop the scale off, similarly when using a flatter to finish we sometimes wet both anvil face (make sure it is clean) and the flatter before use and it seems to improve the surface finish "Is that like hammering on a wet anvil to blow off the scale with the steam"  Scale should be removed prior to forging on the anvil face, any scale will be driven into the surface as you forge, using warer, or a quick dip into the slack tub at orange heat helps loosen the scale, and the wire brush (Usually a heavy duty one) then removes it more quickly and easily. The hammering on a wet anvil is a finishing process basically similar to why we use water on faces on anvil and flatter when finishing. Seems to be more of a blademakers tecnique than general forging. Water jets are used in the rolling mills to remove scale as steel is being manufactured to remove scale which would otherwise be rolled into the surface of the finished product, 
  5. Hi Anthony, you can purchase coke off the internet and have it delivered.  I believe you will find Symonds are now out of coke, but do have coal, we have just taken delivery of half a tonne, and it is cheaper than the coke, and seems to work well, once it is in use, we are still getting into how best to use it. The main reason we are going over to coal is because the forging coke used (from Monkton) is no longer being processed. It was mainly supplied and used for the power stations which are being converted or shut down,  Your assumption "that coke was an easier fuel to use" is also questionable, Originally in the UK, charcoal came first, then came coal used in the Industrial revolution and steelmaking processes, and also by blacksmiths, the preferred coals being from the South Yorkshire and South Wales pits, then along came the "smoke free zones" and pollution control areas, and the shutting down of the collieries in the 1970's, so the supplies of suitable forging coal became minimal or unobtainable being replaced by the coke which was a by product of the Chemical industry and later supplied to power stations, now suffering again from the Non pollution policy. Coke has different properties to coal, it burns hotter which can cause problems with dry tuyeres burning them out pretty rapidly, it is a pain to start, and needs a constant airflow or it goes out pretty quickly, Use too much air and your workpiece suffers, and you need to leave the blower on and then you are using more fuel than you need to. It also produces more clinker than the coal. With coal it lights easily, Initially it will smoke, but once you have your first forging session over with then using the part coked coal to light your next fire, little or no smoke is seen, work new fuel in from the edges and not directly onto the hot spot,  You can control the size of the fire using air flow, or water dampening. You can leave the fire with no air and come back and still be able to easily restart it, One problem to be aware of with coal is you want to make sure the fire is doused at the end of the forging session or if you have an excess of new coal around the fire area, the fire will spread and consume this fuel, and could be still alight in the morning when you come back to work (Don't ask how I am aware of this) Ayy fuel can be used to get your metal hot, a lot is based on what you were introduced to as a beginner, and what was available at the time. The coal we now use is from South Wales and available throughout the UK, and it has always been our policy on the courses to use materials and fuels that is available to the students and the area they live in.  There are three grades/sizes most smiths seem to prefer the smaller(sold as a domestic use fuel as Gloda)nuts or large nuts but not the cobbles. If you want to try some then feel free to pop along to one of our member's days, every second Saturday in the month, or you could try googling Cornish Blacksmiths Association, or Dingles Steam Village and asking them where they get their fuel from
  6. Did the seller explain how he used to use the hammer and what to expect from it.? And I would also ask about the C pieces, they could be for all sorts of things related to how the machine is used or maybe even they don't belong with the machine There are others who are a lot more familiar with this make of hammer and no doubt will respond favourably to your queries. Based on that just a couple of statements from myself . The dies are angled so you can pass long workpieces between them, place them square on and you are limited by the throat depth to the lengths you can draw out. The ram may withdraw to the highest position when the machine is started, the tup usually is supported by a wooden block or similar when not in use, when the machine is switched off, gravity takes over and the tup will descend onto the bottom die. Speculating, the silver handle may move more for selection when the machine is working, I understand they need to be warmed up and well run in to get optimum performance. I hope others can be more informative on the matter for you,  Have fun and enjoy, and remember to use on metal that is really hot to be effective. 
  7. Polishing Mill Finish Sheet

    Forgive me, but I don't see or experience the logic in this train of thought,  Any working is going to produce scarring of some sort and degree, the careful use of handling and forming techniques along with highly polished forming tools will help keep surface damage to a minimum so less finish polishing of the material is required, and if you are annealing the copper before forming, then the highly pre polished surface will suffer in the process. Buffing is my preferred way of achieving different degrees of a polished surface, depending on the compound used.
  8. What is this?

    Thanks for that, I appreciate the offer, and maybe drop down to see you sometime when I am not so busy doing nothing.
  9. What is this?

    As KRS states it was a form of flux, a propriatory brand that was popular up until the late fifties early sixties,(when wrought iron was still available) especially useful when putting working faces on to tools eg hammer faces, lathe, milling and other tools. It could be cut to shape to suit the application, It was the "magic compound" of the day for forge welding steel to wrought iron, it would be interesting to see a chemical analysis of what you have there. I've often heard it mentioned by the old time mentors, (with some cheaper alternatives also) but that is the first time I have seen that particular package. Does it mention country of origin? A great little nugget of the smithing history, I wonder how many more examples survive.? Great find, 
  10. Tools into Canada???

    8 years !  That seems a good deal, most 'smiths end up once they have started, with a life sentence of hard labour from then on.
  11. Thanks for posting this Alan, she was a very gracious lady and it was an honour to have met her on several occasions. Hopefully the executors will get the book published and then there will be something else for future generations to be appreciative for, and reward and reinforce marking her endeavours and contribution  to, and on behalf of, the ironworking community. 
  12. would this work?

    Ideal low cost blowers, and relatively quiet. you will need an air gate, and an adaptor plate to bring exhaust port down to your required diameterto fit to tuyere. Only downside is they are usually a plastic housing, so need to be sited away from heat or hot debris.
  13. Show us your Key rings

     David Hammer is the guy I credit with this item, he has a good video on the sheep channel (ewe (you) tube) for all to follow, made in 2010, and this basic method can be easily adapted to produce various styles. I punch the hole for the split ring, but these can be drilled after they are finished, the punching is probably the most difficult part as it tends to flatten the area around it which can distort the finished shape, do it when the brim is flat, and the hole distorts when you shape the brim. Have fun trying them.
  14. A small group of members attended the Lambing Day event held at Bicton College to help promote our new start at Westpoint, It was very cold, but a lot of visitors stopped to view what we were doing. Here are some pics I also made these, and have put more pictures on a Show us your Key rings thread in theDiscussion section. And here are a couple of pics from the Ypres poppy making day. Next Members day will be April 9th at Westpoint,