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About Marc

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    New Hampshire
  • Occupation
    Electronics Engineer

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  1. Marc

    Sean Conner Passes

    Dear Father, please give Glenn, his family, and all their friends and loved ones strength and peace during this difficult time.
  2. It's been a couple years since I've tried the local scrap yards, but my formerly favorite yard used to let me rummage through their lot and charged 20 cents per pound. A couple years ago they stopped selling to individuals, but it wasn't about liability. It was far more profitable to cut everything they had in 2-ft pieces, load them in a big dump truck and sell them to a scrapper in the state that shreds. They, in turn, shipped it all overseas. This was during the big Chinese buildup, so I don't know what they do today. They used to have a pile that was easily 12 - 15 ft tall. But when I was there, no pile at all. He said they cut everything up all week, and every Tuesday would bring the full truck to the shredder.
  3. I use a squirrel cage blower for most of my forging, but it's not strong enough for welding, so I have a shop-vac motor for that. One thing about vac motors is the noise. They are much louder than the squirrel cage. So I can see the need to slow it down over gating. For my vac blower, I tried my router speed control, but that didn't do much. The motor didn't turn at all. The nice thing is this vac has a resistor-based speed control, it just doesn't slow it down enough. I need to play with that resistor when I get that round tuit.
  4. I hadn't thought about that whip at the end of the blow. That would rotate the counterweight up and actually add some force to the blow. I have gotten used to the short handle and forged a hammer to the same dimensions as Hofi's, who was nice enough to email me those dimensions. So I think I'll test this counterweight concept with a long-handled hammer. I'll keep my grip choked up so that the counterweight has more leverage and see if my forearms wimp out as fast. I'm a perfect test subject for this. I don't get in the shop nearly often enough to build up endurance, so I'll know in about an hour if it makes a difference.
  5. This topic has gotten interesting. I, too, find my forearms are the parts that get tired. One thing about the counterbalance - When the hammer head hits the steel, it stops, but the counterweight will want to continue. So now you're hand/arm has got to reverse that direction. Still, as Grant says, this is easy enough to experiment with.
  6. I don't think you need to worry about the floor. All the energy going into the floor is really coming from your leg, and there's not enough there to do too much damage. If you have an anvil with enough mass, that would be fine. I've got a relatively light (35 - lb) treadle hammer, but even a heavy one wouldn't be a problem. And from what I've read on the various forums, it takes a large-ish power hammer to start worrying about foundations.
  7. There are four in my area and all of them mostly dealt with big stuff like incinerators, kilns, etc. Look for places that are really industrial. None of these had showrooms or anything even close. It was interesting because I'm just some schmuck off the street looking to by a few bucks worth of stuff. Yet they were all really nice to deal with. But they'll have little variety of stock. Only leftovers from what their last job needed.
  8. I remember reading the blacksmithing part of the Foxfire series of books and they said blacksmiths preferred anthracite to bituminous because it was cleaner.
  9. I've had good luck buying refractory from local refractory contractors. I've gotten insulating firebrick and insulating castable from a few within short driving distance, saving shipping. They were willing to sell small amounts, like a single bag or a few bricks. Usually it's stuff left over from a job.
  10. I don't seem to have a problem peeling the disc off platter. I fold the disc back pretty much on itself and pull straight down. That leaves some adhesive on the platter, which comes off easily with mineral spirits on a rag while the machine is spinning.
  11. I've got a prosthetic testicle, and I don't believe I do anything special for that. However, my teacher had a prosthetic leg. He was a farrier before diabetes took his leg. He then went to just blacksmithing and teaching both smithing and farriery. The only thing that slowed him down were the stairs going to and from his shop. There was one funny episode, though. One time in class he dropped something that set his jeans on fire. One of the guys in class saw the smoke - "Hey Ken, you're on fire!" Ken didn't notice because it was the prosthetic leg.
  12. eBay could be a good source of used blowers. Cutting soft brick - they do still make cable saws. Look in the H/W store in the plumbing. They're for PVC, but soft brick is so soft I suspect it will work fine. I just used a wood coping saw with a narrow blade. That would work fine for all but the tightest curves.
  13. Would that be these? Link to pliers. You know, these look like passable tongs - if they can stand up to the pounding. I may get a few and weld in flat jaws, v-jaws, box jaws, ...
  14. I strongly agree with the CO warnings. I have a monitor near head height in the shop, which is a 2-car garage. I swapped out the "normal" overhead doors with some homemade swing-outs and put open-able windows in each door. While the forge warms up it puts out enough CO to be dangerous. But opening a couple windows and putting a dept. store fan in front of one of them clears out the CO fine. Once the forge is hot, I can usually turn the fan off with no problems.
  15. I put anti-seize in a tuna can and use it to lube punches and slitters.