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I Forge Iron

John McPherson

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About John McPherson

  • Rank
    Grumpy Old Guy

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  • Location
    Frog Pond, NC (Near Charlotte)
  • Interests
    Full Time Welding Instructor/CWI, occasional blacksmith.


  • Location
    Charlotte, NC

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  1. Well, if you are interested in buying a pre-certified welding procedure, they are available from the American Welding Society.
  2. PM sent about a hammer-in tomorrow in western NC.
  3. Shocking but true! With this one simple trick you will always be successful! (Yeah, I hate those ads too.) But: get out of the hobby mindset. If you want to play with the pros in the major leagues, you can't compete with spotty supplies from flea markets and flimsy big box import tools for a living. I like a bargain as much as the next guy, but get real. Buy once, cry once. Shop where the pros in the trade shop. The tools may look the same on the outside, but I have seen cheap grinders with pot metal and plastic gears inside when autopsied. Also, I have never had a problem
  4. Heck, I would drive from NC to OK to see those guys in person, especially since everything else has been shut down this year. Best of luck to you all.
  5. Nah, I have just gotten so used to dealing with HR folks who are trying to send their knuckle dragging wire burners in to take "the welding test" that I despair of having a conversation using proper technical terms ever again. If they had a welding engineer or inspector on staff, they would never condescend to be talking to the likes of me, figuring me for a flunky as well. They may be right, in a school setting the Instructors are valued lower than Housekeeping. But I am a flunky with multiple degrees and certifications and awards, dang it! Those letters after my name, (and $5) will get
  6. OK, you asked to drink from the firehose of knowledge, hang on to your socks. This is what I have done for the last dozen years: teach the whole spectrum of welding (basic to fully automated) at a community college, and do AWS Certified Welder (CW) testing at several Accredited Testing Facilities (ATF'S). The fact that you even ask the question means that you are not ready to take a test. IF... you have been working 3-10 years in a fab shop, or with a mobile crew, and think that you have ALL the mad skillz, savings account, and the client base to get your own shop or $100K mobile rig, bus
  7. As hobby smiths, most of us will not burn enough coal in a lifetime to create an appreciable amount of toxic waste byproduct. The most prolific local smith I ever met routinely did 6/10's in the shop, and was burning 14 tons a quarter turning out industrial tools 30 years ago, and he did not work alone. That was one fully loaded dump truck direct from the WV mines, delivered to his door. Clinker was his parking area gravel. Cinder tracks at schools were paved with the waste from coal furnaces. On the other hand, a local NC utility company has been in the national news due to spills from h
  8. Mine came yesterday - just before the rain! My wife brought it in.
  9. Would that be the famous Hispanic women's health specialist, OB Juan Kenobi?
  10. I have seen leaders in business. Rarely. I have seen a lot of bosses. A lot of cruel, shallow, broken people in places of authority that they were in no way mentally or morally fit to occupy. But they looked good on paper, and talked a good game, took all the credit, placed all the blame, and never put anything self-incriminating in writing. As long as the final numbers look good, there is no change. And I have seen a lot of supervisors above them turn a blind eye and deaf ear to any problems, because then they would have to DO something, or maybe even make a decision, something that
  11. Well, the upside now is weather forecasting. For a week, I got to hold my middle finger up above my heart. In public. "No, not being rude. Doctor's orders. See the bandage? And a good day to you as well, and the horse you rode in on." And my son, as the striker (for the last time), earned the nickname "Lightning", and had to drive me to the ER, and not for the last time. Just the last time he was the culprit.
  12. A tool like that is not used without a striker or a power hammer in any case. Do you have either now, or is this just a theoretical question? Everyone approaches problems from wherever they started out. Weldor/fabricator, machinist, tool & die maker, backyard hobby smith, thousand ton hammer industrial smith, total noob. Whatever tools you know and understand, will be how you want to attack the problem. Heck, with the right robot welder, you could 3D print one. I, personally, would search thru scrapyards looking for something close to what I wanted, cut it, and weld it to an old
  13. Farmall, Lost Art Press has them new for $43.
  14. "Cream rises to the top, but so does pond scum." The pessimistic among us have come to the conclusion that the best we can do is not just limited by our own abilities and talents, but by the artificial barriers and constraints imposed by the 'clods' that have risen to the top. That is when the frustration sets in. "If you get up in the morning, and run into a single jerk, then that is his problem. If you get up in the morning and everyone you meet all day is a jerk to you, then YOU are the problem." You can have a team of superstars: educated well above the competition, dedicate
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