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  2. 1) Name: Dan 2) Location: Rochester, NY 3) What type blacksmithing do you do, what do you make: Mostly tools (hammers, knives, axes, chisels...) 4) How and when did you get started in blacksmithing: Did a little smithing when studying for my MFA in glass at RIT back in the mid 80's (metals minor), but had no instruction. Took a long hiatus, unfortunately, and got back into it around 5 years ago. 5) What object or thing did you use as your first anvil: Unless you count the concrete floor I used as a kid to straighten nails (good early smithing practice), the first anvil I used was a 300+# London pattern at RIT. Didn't know how good I had it. First anvil I owned was a modified rail track anvil I got from my father in law and used for minor non-ferrous metal work. 6) Tell us about your first forge, hole in the ground, camp fire, brake drum, stacked bricks: The first official forge I used was the old natural gas Johnson monster at RIT. I made my first forge (which I still use) from parts left over from my glass equipment (also self constructed). It was, and still is, a forced air/natural gas forge made from a cut down 11 gal compressed air tank. 7) Who assisted you or encouraged you in the craft: My brother took a knife class from Bill Moran at RIT and got me excited about the possibility of picking this up as a hobby. I have been lucky enough to take classes and watch demonstrations from lots of excellent teachers, really too many to list. 8) What event changed your attitude about blacksmithing: Attending a hammer-in at Ashokan. 9) What tool has changed or made your life easier in the shop: Tough call. Probably my treadle hammer, so far, though the used baby 33# Anyang will likely pass that once I get better with the power hammer. 10) What advice would you give those starting out in blacksmithing: Look for classes, join a local chapter, get some direct instruction, it will flatten the learning curve enormously. 11) What advice would you give those already involved in blacksmithing; Teach the beginners what you have learned. Keep an open mind for alternate solutions. Seal your refractory blanket!!! 12) What are some of the interesting things that have happened to you in your life as a blacksmith: Attending hammer-ins, SOFA, Mid-Atlantic Blade, and an ABANA conference. Participating in a smelt overnight at Ashokan. Touring Albert Paley's studio. Teaching the Buffalo Sabres team some blacksmithing at the Arc and Flame school.
  3. Most groups I've been associated with will let you attend meetings a couple of times before paying to join. It can be a big help seeing other smith's set ups and finding out what you like/dislike about them before you build your own. Some groups even have forges available for folks to use after meetings. Helps to avoid the "I don't know anything about this; so I designed a new and improved way to do it and it doesn't work right, y'all need to fix it for me!" (And Yes, we do seem to get a number of such posts here over time...)
  4. A problem with using a solid steel or cast iron block for a ribbon burner is heat transfer. As the furnace interior warms up, heat is transferred through the hot faces on the inside of the furnace to the exterior faces where it is dissipated to the environment. Refractory materials in general slow this transfer of heat such that: 1. Enough heat is kept inside the furnace to allow it to reach forging temperatures. 2. Only a small amount of heat travels through the hot face wall to the furnace's exterior and this small amount of heat can be easily dissipated by the surrounding air; keeping the exterior of the furnace relatively cool. Now replace a section of the hot face wall with a modestly sized ribbon burner block. This block is going to absorb heat, this heat is going to travel through the block until it reaches the plenum on the other side. The biggest thing cooling the ribbon burner is the flow of air through the block into the furnace. With a refractory the flow of heat through the ribbon burner can be offset by the air flow. However, steel and cast iron have much better heat transfer than refractory and this means the air flow alone will not be enough to keep the plenum side of the burner below the ignition temperature of the propane/air mixture on the plenum side. The result will be a detonation and fire on the wrong side of the burner. How do I know this? My first ribbon burner forge experienced a fire on the wrong side of the burner when operated incorrectly (by me). The burner in question was made out of a hard refractory cement The forge was being being run very hot to do some forging welding for about half an hour. When the welding was done I turned down the air/gas flow to reach a normal hot working temperature. About five minutes later I heard a loud boom and then had fire coming out of places it shouldn't have. No one was hurt and but the blower fan was trashed from the detonation. The problem was the heat stored in the burner's refractory during the high temperature run. As long as the higher temperature was balanced by high air flow things were fine, but with high temperature and low air you get fire in the wrong place. My new ribbon burner has a water block build into the plenum side of the burner to prevent this. Steve
  5. You all have convinced me - I've asked my brother if we can go scrounge around the various scrapyards and dumps this Saturday. I have a few ideas for a JABOD set up, and also keeping an eye out for a conveniently shaped piece of scrap (like that food service prep bay you mentioned Pnut). I also looked into the Mid Atlantic Smiths Association - seems like a place with some resources, but probably wouldn't pay a fee until I'm 'up and at it,' so to speak. Also Frosty, thank you so much for the mention of the Morgan ceramics. I looked those up and they look -phenomenally- more well equipped for forging, and the price is still pretty reasonable. Am looking at other peoples set ups. Any other suggestions or tips that come to mind would of course be appreciated. Those are the weight I got my cross/ball peens respectively. My brother (who is a carpenter, so I'm in good hands with a set of background eyes) suggested those weights. I also looked up the Mastermyr chest, and that... is friggin' cool. Awesome that we would find Would be cool to replicate it someday as a project perhaps. That's one thing I'm realizing the more I dig into this - Blacksmithing was (and still is, albeit in more industrial forms) a major factor in the path of civilization. It's also a fascinating lens to look at history through as well.
  6. They can be really loud but you get an awesome anvil in return in my opinion, i am saving up myself for this anvil and hope to get it in the near future, you can deaden the ring so that isn't really a problem just bolt it down tight to a stand or stick some magnets under the heel and you're almost not able to hear it ring anymore. the 120KG is my personal favourite because it has a relatively narow face which i am quite a fan of I don't really know any anvil makers where you live that still produce anvils, but in my region Peddinghaus (or Riggid as its called now) and Refflinghaus are definitely in the top of the makers.
  7. You can always check out blacksmithparadise and have a really nice vintage anvil shipped to the states for $500 flat rate shipping for a pallet up to 1000#'s and he even has an anvil over 1000#s so it is possible to reach your weight with one purchase but he will combine purchases on a pallet up to your max weight.
  8. Thank you, I really appreciate the insight. Refflinghaus is definitely at the top of my list, I'm just trying to get an idea of what else is out there. I've heard complaints that Refflinghaus anvils can be loud. What were your thoughts?
  9. If I were to buy an anvil from a maker that already sells them I would probably go with the 120KG Refflinghaus I have used it personally when I went and visited another smith and it was just a joy to use.
  10. alas, no. I was unable to make it. My "shop kit", a load of logs, arrived on Friday and needed attending till yesterday.
  11. I am a part time auctioneer so I never view a day at an auction as a wasted day. Do be aware of buyer premium many are as high as 10% or more. I do not work for or with houses that charge that. Bid hard and fast until you reach your limit. You may intimidate a buyer or two. I have never believed that stalling between bids gets you anywhere. Just my opinion. Good luck.
  12. Well the underside of the heel may identify an Arm & Hammer. They tended to leave the steam hammer impressions undressed so if its smoothly undulating it would most likely be A&H.
  13. Lee, were you at Frank Turley's when he was awarded the ABANA Heritage award last Saturday?
  14. I can't say much more than the people above me, i'd say it looks like a trenton but you can't know for sure if you don't find any markings. If she goes for the right price and the rebound is good than you will have an anvil that i'll last generations if you don't abuse it. Good luck on your journey in this amazing craft! Damian Stil
  15. I got the "transmission" part of the build pretty much done. This includes the pulleys, belt tensioner (clutch), and cam. I'm not entirely happy with this belt tensioner, but I'll see how it works. Here's the Cam. I built it from two pieces of 3/4" square bar. The reason for this was so that I could mill a key slot in the 1" hole after I drilled it. I then pinned and welded the two halves back together. I'm using two of these 3/4" rod ends with a turnbuckle for the link to the spring. These things only come in fine thread (3/4-16) so I'll have to build a turnbuckle for them, as most turnbuckles are in course thread.
  16. The closest place to my smithy that sells steel to the public is a windmill installation and repair place. They get a deeper discount the large orders of steel they place and so they sell it on the side to get a better price for themselves. They will also "piggy back" special orders for you. Call around; prices often vary a lot between steel dealers for the same item---and the cheapest can change from time to time. I also ask about dirty/rusty/bent/odd sized steel as I can often get it cheaper and the forge doesn't care! (I once got 90' of 1/4" sq stock this way for the price of 50'---cleaned out the dealers bin of all the drops and "damaged" stock. Made them very happy and me too!)
  17. My guess would be either Trenton or Arm & Hammer. Would be nice to see the bottom surface to help narrow down the brand, but being secured to the stump will prevent that. Best bet is to check the side for brand markings or look at the front foot edge for stamped serial numbers.
  18. 1) Name: Lee 2) Location: under the shadow of the Sleeping Ute. 3) What type blacksmithing do you do, what do you make: Traditional architectural blacksmith. what do I make? Literally anything I can get in my fire. I started off doing crafts fairs and demonstrating at various places. I went to every possible workshop and volunteered to other working Smith's to work for them for room and board on a per job basis. The learning I got doing this as a general smith was intense. I did everything from drilling holes on a fine railing to helping another Smith get out an order for 500 "S" hooks. Not to mention doing a few hundred or so grapes for a grape leaf chandelier. Lol, he insisted I do these to dimension,,, 5/8". After I made about a hundred he said I could go ahead and vary them from 1/2" to 7/8"! He later told me he had gone thru a number of others who could not consistently forge them to 5/8". I guess I passed his test! 4) How and when did you get started in blacksmithing: Lol, I'd like to say "when I was 5 or 6 as this is my first memory of a blacksmith. And it's still strong. My dad took me to a "western town" and I can still see the mind pic of the dummy blacksmith sitting in a rocking chair with tools strewn helter skelter around the shop! I finally got a rocker,,, I'm almost there! My real start came when I was 17 and I became a farrier with the full intent of becoming a reeeel blaaaaksmith, even though I had no true concept of what that meant. Nearly 60 years later I'm still at it and building my "dream shop". 5) What object or thing did you use as your first anvil: RR track 6) Tell us about your first forge, hole in the ground, camp fire, brake drum, stacked bricks: my first forge was the bottom of an old cast water heater, three tee posts, a twyre made from two pieces of 1-1/4" pipe. My blower was a 12 volt car heater. At the same time a friend and I, in my grandfather's garage, built a barely doable dry-layed brick forge and a very fine great bellows that we built. 7) Who assisted you or encouraged you in the craft: Too many to list and the list is still growing. To highlight a few. Frank Turley, Tom Joyce,Francis Whitaker,Russ Sweider,Nick Brumder,Vaclav Jarosh, Jim Selby, Steve Titus. 8) What event changed your attitude about blacksmithing: my time at Turley Forge and the years with Francis Whitaker. 9) What tool has changed or made your life easier in the shop: that's actually a tough one. It's easy to say my 25# lil giant, but that's not the real answer. Getting to the point where a forge weld was easier and quicker to do than using a torch or a welder ranks high. Understanding the concept of a "localized heat" and just how a ox/acetyl torch enhanced this. This was brought home mastering a simple right angle bend, first learned in the forge, then how a local heat made this a truly quick and efficient detail. And last but not the least was learning to forge to dimension and getting to the place where I do this with literally every job I do. 10) What advice would you give those starting out in blacksmithing: blow off the naysayers, they are thick as thieves. This especially includes all those who tell you that in this day and age you can't make a living as a traditional smith. There are many ways to do many things. Never hesitate to learn as many as possible. You will find that some variations are situationally better. However, you will quickly learn that most variations come in second to a few. You will never learn which is what without trying them all. That's called learning. Be efficient. For instance if you find you spend a lot of time walking around your anvil, you are doing something wrong. 11) What advice would you give those already involved in blacksmithing: all the above plus, never forget the 3 "D's". desire, determination, dedication. and "There's plenty of room at the top". thanks to Francis Whitaker for both. 12) What are some of the interesting things that have happened to you in your life as a blacksmith: my journey has taken me from Beverly Hills to Prague.Its brought me in contact with the finest people I could ever imagine, be they customers or other Smith's. Every point on the journey has been significant. Easiest said is I can't imagine any other pathway, for me, being as rewarding, challenging, and ultimately satisfying soul deep!
  19. Have you looked at Oxy-Propane rosebuds? Propane is a lot easier to source (and cheaper) than acetylene; you need different tips/hoses/regulators; but they will get paid for FAST with the savings in gas costs., Not good for welding but better for heating and cutting. Also look at some of the custom forge designs for armouring. (Eric Thing designed one that would be great for "bowling" and yes a lot of armourers use the British spelling of armor...) A brick pile forge has a lot of "stack it the way you need it" variability.
  20. Today
  21. I have an old mine? timber I use as stands. (Neighbor turned it up in a field he was leveling and gave it to me, I cut it in two.) They both have a deep crack in them; but vertically it doesn't cause any trouble, save for dropping stuff in them. I forged a couple of cleats to encourage the crack to not propagate as they get some rough handling. I also bolted on a couple of large handles to make them easier to carry and load.
  22. Looks like you have all the bases covered. The pump you have should hold you over till you get the new one delivered. Good luck. Pnut
  23. I'm sure my pump (is a computer blower, DataVac duster) will overheat if I leave on low for too long but I bought a blower which I'm still waiting to be delivered which I should be able to use the variable speed control.
  24. Some questions have answers that are either right or wrong; others come down to a person's druthers
  25. That'll do it. Some pumps cool their motor by the amount of air entering the intake so if you slow down the motor they overheat. I'm not saying that is the kind of pump you have I'm just passing on some info Pnut
  26. This is all true. For me though, the galvanized pipe was left over from a job at my work. I like saving when I can so this was one of those instances. I appreciate your comments though. Down the road if I decide to become a 2 burner man I will definitely keep those tips in mind.
  27. I bought a variable speed adjuster from amazon and works really good, cuts the speed from a full blow down to 50%
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