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About VaughnT

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    Senior Member

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  • Location
    Northwest SC
  • Interests
    Shooting, reading, woodworking, more reading, metal working, photography, etc.

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  1. VaughnT

    My First Forged Piece

    Very nice photography. I only have a Canon G10 now that I've moved away from the SLR's. I like that it's small enough to tote around, though I also use that "portability" as my excuse for the bad pictures I take with it. The pros that recommend the G10 series all remark about how wonderful it is and how they prefer it as their traveling camera because it'll do every bit as good as the big bag of bodies and lenses they would normally have to carry with them. In my hands..... ugh! My latest pic, trying to mimic that warm lighting you showcase so effortlessly. Ended up getting a nice warmth, I think, but the detail is off. You can see the scratches in the wax finish from where I rubbed it with a cloth, the glare from the overhead light washes out a lot of details while seeming to highlight the unwanted details like those scratches in the wax. So frustrating!
  2. VaughnT

    My First Forged Piece

    Nice leaf, but I'm enjoying the quality of the photographs a lot more! Good pictures are a work of art, and you've really got it nailed down. The clarity, depth of focus, lighting.... everything is spot on the money!
  3. VaughnT

    fly press balls

    You can get new balls right down the road from you. Not sure if the cost of them would be such that you save by making your own. I'd think, though, that you'd burn up a lot of time and fuel to make your own..... and it just might be better all around to buy them.
  4. VaughnT

    What did you do in the shop today?

    Sweet work, Mud. I've been wanting to make a small hole punch like that for awhile but keep putting it off. Might have to play catch up now that you're breaking in that fine new anvil! Today's project was a trial to figure out how someone did it before me. I'm calling it the "Nested Scroll" because the scroll is supposed to fit snuggly into a matched shoulder. I didn't get it exactly, but I learned a good bit and the next attempt will be a lot better.
  5. VaughnT

    Wine Rack

    Excellent. Knocking out all those tapers so perfectly must have been a chore! Whatever you're selling them for, double it! It's definitely worth the cost!
  6. Wish I'd have seen this before. I've been running a Majestic 3-burner for awhile and it's been fairly lousy as far as forges go. The insulation doesn't insulate nearly as well as you'd think, so you lose a ton of heat through it. That makes it a gas hog. I'd highly recommend blocking off the open side with some soft fire bricks or make a door with a steel frame and kaowool. That much open space.... well, you might as well just be heating your metal with an oxy-acetylene torch. You're burning a ton of fuel to heat up the shop through that open wall.
  7. VaughnT

    What did you do in the shop today?

    Very nice work, Mud. That's a nice anvil, and I appreciate the extra work you went through to make forged hold downs and angles for the set up. It looks very professional.
  8. VaughnT

    366 Hooks

    I've been following along on his journey for awhile, and it's impressive! Lessons learned? Try it. Just shut up and try it. You might not think it'll make a decent hook, but what else do you have to burn your time with? Gonna make yet another s-hook? Really? That's the best you can come up with? You learn a lot more than how to make a hook if you'll get off your duff and just give it a try. Good Photographs go a lot further than you'd think. Matt's photos are wonderful, and his use of interesting objects and background just makes them all the better. But he makes sure to keep them within the same relative them and color scheme so there's a sense of continuity. You don't get much better in the ways of marketing than the Great Hook Campaign. I'm sure it's being talked about in business schools around the world. Brilliant, but simple. A smith trying to make something new and different documents his efforts and posts them on social media. It pretty much takes off like a scalded dog and is the talk of the town. Consistent theme, regular updates, minimal frivolity or excess.... it's a winning combination. I really need to take some art or drawing classes so I can figure out how to "see" the designs in the steel. There are so many things I would just never have considered doing!
  9. VaughnT

    What kind should I buy?

    As JLP noted, time is a factor and you're most always better off going to your local steel supply store to get full 20' lengths of bar. My local Dillon's will sell me any 1018 I could want and it's very nice to forge. The stuff you get from the big box stores is three times the price, so there's no sense buying there unless you need some stock late at night after the steel supplier is closed. 1/4" round and square. 5/16" square bar is great for making steak flippers and other projects where the 1/4" stock looks a bit too small. I really like using rectangular stock for a lot of hooks and keep 1/4x1/2, 3/16x1/2 and 3/16x3/4 on hand all the time. 1/2" round and square is one of the mainstays, too. For larger hooks, dinner triangle bells, plant stands and such, it's a good thing to have and you can burn through a few sticks in no time flat when you're making something like a table.
  10. VaughnT

    What did you do in the shop today?

    Good work, OC. It's nice and uniform, and that's the important part. I managed to get twelve hooks and a small dish made. I was rushing like a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs so I could get the stuff made and to the post office in time. It feels good to rush some times. It forces you to pay attention to every strike of the hammer and keep things as streamlined as possible. Now I'm tired!
  11. VaughnT

    Some anvil advice

    Weld up plates? No. Not worth the time and material to do it. Can't find an anvil in your price range? Really? There are scrap yards all over Louisiana where you can find large chunks of steel. Or, are you wanting a london-pattern anvil because you think that's what you need to be a blacksmith? To give you an idea what anvils look like, here are a couple from GS Tongs on youtube. He makes them and uses them, and never seems to have a problem forging some really nice stuff. And because they're relatively light, he can flip them and use different faces as needed. They are most definitely not "london pattern" anvils. Surely you can find a similar chunk of solid steel around the junk yards. Even if it's mild steel, a few minutes with some hard-facing rod or wire would turn the face into something rather resistant to impact.
  12. VaughnT

    What did you do in the shop today?

    One of the best leveling techniques I've run into is to drive 5-7 1" lag screws into the bottom of the stump, as close to the edge as you can. You wouldn't think it'd make much difference, but getting little legs under there takes a lot of the guesswork out, keeps moisture from wicking up the end grain and prevents wear from the concrete floor. The bolt heads aren't so thick that it raises the anvil enough to bother, but they're thick enough to last for ages against rust and abrasion.
  13. I've done it and haven't had a problem. It's a good way to use found roller bearings that are too short for hot work and can be ground to a nice shape. I'll often chuck a 1/2" bearing into the drill and then hold it against the bench grinder to make round-nose punches that are every bit as nice as could be turned in a lathe. Add some 1" mild steel and a handle.... and you've got a neat little tool that'll last for ages.
  14. VaughnT

    What did you do in the shop today?

    Thank you. They've proven quite popular with folks and I'm happy to make them. Chasing in the design takes the most time, but it's worth doing it by hand rather than relying on a stamp that gives you the same impression from one pendant to the next.
  15. Beautiful machine. I'd love to have something like that in the shop!