the bear

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About the bear

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    Henley on Kip Gauteng South Africa
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  1. Hello and welcome. My take on Smithing is to do what the Smiths of old did.Build everything I possibly can.That way I develop a lot of skills and also get to clearly understand the workings of my stuff.Forges are dead easy to and really cost next to nothing if you DIY build them.This goes for both gas and coal.I have built and used both . I have also built a smelting furnace and have successfully cast bronze and aluminium with it.My coal forge is still my favourite as I can control the fire much better than with gas and also get a much hotter flame to forge Damascus. With costs being what they are forging has become pretty costly so its DIY all the way.Anybody who would like to know more or needs help is more than welcome to contact me at 0824902620....
  2. Oh and James, Do not pass up a shoddy or heavily used anvil as long as it is structurally sound.Chips and notches are fixable and even slight swayback is not beyond redemption. These can all be repaired by a skilled welder using hard facing rods and then ground down and smoothed.Will cost somewhat but it could be worth it.
  3. Hi guys, I think it is a sign of the times that activity in this country has become muted.With the political and economic situation people are focusing more and more on surviving. I myself did a lot more work a decade or so ago,simply because everything was a lot cheaper and easier to come by and markets were also more open.Having retired now I was expecting to put in a lot more forge time but alas that has not happened, as there is always something else which gets in the way. However do not despair "Waar daar n wil is is daar n weg".If you want to connect with guys who have extensive experience especially in Bladesmithing try "Heavin Forge". Kevin and Heather are great people based in Dullstroom and offer a wide variety of courses albeit mainly aimed at knife making, but they also teach forging and if you can successfully forge a blade you can easily progress from there. Also a lot of info is to be found on the net and in books and part of the fun is really the experimentation and repetition until you get it right. Regards anvils the reason scrapyards will not sell is because antique dealers reserve such items and buy them up for a lot higher prices when they come in. I have sourced all my anvils from private sellers usually on outlying farms or farm auctions.But be prepared to pay good money.People have become aware of the prices these items fetch,mainly because they are coveted by the wealthy to use as garden ornaments.....Having said all this they are there, it only takes some looking.
  4. Your best bet is to troll the outlying farms.Today scrap metal is actively being hunted down all over the country by agents for dealers and even the poor and homeless and an anvil is a much sought after item.In the years to come anvils will become extinct as sure as shooting.
  5. Netjiese fotos Gert.Ja dis jammer daar is so min belangstelling in ons voorgeskiedenis is, veral in hierdie moeilike tye waar dit nog doelbewus onderdruk en verander word en vir baie mense n verleentheid geword het.Maar dit daar gelaat.Ek het self hier n interessante staanskroef met n dowwwe datum op van 1864,so dit was een van daardie wat saam met die waens gekom het.En Ja ons sal die tradisies laat voortleef solank ons nog daar is.Sal graag die volgende fees wil bywoon en die smede daar wil leer ken....
  6. hello Guys, I had the same problem some years ago so I upped and built my own grinder.The most expensive items were the two polyurethane covered aluminium wheels over which the belt runs which i had to buy from a specialist supplier.The power source came form a single phase 2200 watt Wolf electric lawnmower which was a quarter century old and retired at the time, and is now past 35 and still going strong. The rest of the stuff was pure scrapyard steel and the construction was undertaken with normal home tools and my forge of course.Just for the record I am not an engineer or a technician but been smithing for some decades and I am good at copying and improvising.The whole thing probably cost me about 10% of a custom made machine which is actually what you need if you want to get into the serious stuff.I can do anything any other machine can do and have ground sword blades, axes and even blacksmiths cross peen sledges on it.The platen is 500 mm long and the belts are 2.4 meters total length. If you would like more info or a look at it I live in the Joh'burg vicinity so you are welcome to contact me at 0824902620 by all means.
  7. HI Guys, Well, its mid winter here (July) now, and we had - 4 C this morning with a daytime maximum of 13 C.Due to our altitude and the dry air in winter when it does not rain, it feels colder than it really is.As was already mentioned our houses here are not insulated very well, with fibrewool in the ceiling being about as far as it goes.The early sunsets and late sunrises are more of a bother as they cut into working time,especially if a large part of your working area is outdoors.As soon as the sun sets the cold closes in and work becomes a bother. I am working on collars of a rope design which call for 6 strips of 6mm rod adjacent to each other which are then wrapped around the scrolls where they contact the supports.As I work alone I have fashioned some specialised tongs, which are u shaped to hold the collars with, after they have been heated red and bent into a U shape.I reheat them to orange -yellow and then pick them up with the tongs and slide them over the support legs and scrolls of the gate and hammer their back edges closed so that they contact each other at the back of the gate. I have to do about 60 of them so it will still take a while. By the way if you ever need a rust preventative that works there is one on the market named End Rust from polycell which is superb.You do not need to remove any rust, just sand away the loose flakes and apply.The stuff looks milky white but changes to a blue black colour in a few seconds.It combines with the rust to form a protective layer.I have left rusted steel treated this way outside for more than a year without painting,and have had no recurrence of rust at all. regards The Bear
  8. The old time Scythe, you know - the one the grim reaper carries, has fallen into disuse in many modern economies and youngsters just stare blankly when the term is mentioned.Still there is a rapidly emerging interest in these old and very efficient tools and a number of websites dedicted to them can be found. I am pretty sure that the old time smiths made them in large numbers as they were known even in Biblical times.There were also a number of factories in Europe turning out scythes as late as the 1950's and there probably is till the odd shop in some remote country doing the same. I have seen some excellent videos on them on the tube and the grace and elegance with which they are handled is a pleasure to behold. Are there any Smiths out there who have made a Scythe recently.I would dearly like to hear from you. Regards The Bear
  9. Hi guys, Long silence due to a little mishappie,read about it on the victorian gate site.I have a good friend for whom I recently made two machetes in exchange for an anvil, who says he has plans for a little giant which he wants to modify.He reckons he can build a better working example for about ten G's. I'll go see him soon and keep you posted. regards The Bear
  10. Ah Yes the gate, In my blind enthusiasm I guess I overdid it a bit and as I am writing this I am sitting with that famous right arm in a sling after an overhaul of the right shoulder at the local orthopaedic center. Rent in the ligament I am told. And that after 20 years of hammering with the same ol 2kg sledge.As the doc said, rather sagely, I must admit:"Ja well, 20 years ago you were 40, you ain't that no more,gotta accept that..." So,no more hammering for 6 months and that just when I was moving on the roped collars which really give the gate its authentic look. Arrgh can you hear that ol Bear....? All that lovely summer weather wasted.... So,to all you old timers out there take it easy......By the way, wonder what the real retirement age of the oldtimer Smiths was? Smiths greetings The Bear Ja die hek, Het die ding so n bietjie oordoen en soos ek nou sit en skrywe is die beroemde regterarm in n skouerverband nadat die skouer oorgedoen is by die plaaslike ortopeed.En dit na 20 jaar se hamerslaan met dieselfde 2kg voorhamer.En hier kom die Doc nog so ewe wysneus en se: "Wel 20 jaar terug was jy veertig ,jy is nie meer nie...aanvaar dit nou maar..."? So geen gehamer meer vir 6 maande nie en dit net toe ek met die touvorm krae begin het wat die hek juis sy egteheid verleen.AAARGH Hoor julle die BEER se Frustrasie....Hele somer daarmee heen en elke dag kyk ek in die halfklaar hek vas. So aan al die veterane daarbuite, vat dit stadig manne......So terloops ek wonder wat die aftree ouderdom van die vanmelewe se smede regtig was? Smidsgroete Die Beer
  11. Progress report on the gate. I am about 40% along to date.Have to make 85 scrolls of various shapes from 25x5mm MS which I bend by hand in the fire.Getting a lot of wholesome exercise and my right arm is developing nicely. Around 35 ccompleted to date.The frame is complete and has been hung and the scrolling is about 20% fitted. Am being hampered by early winter nightfall and biting cold up here in the highveld. Bear
  12. hallo Germaan, Jou eie aangablaasde vuur vervaardig kooks uit steenkool in die verbrandingsproses.As jou vuur opgehou het met rook en dit gloei op sy hoogste met sulke blou vlammetjies wat bo op dans is dit skoon en dis net kooks wat nou brand en kan jy feitlik enige werk daarin doen. Jy het nie regtig kooks nodig nie.Dis vir mense wat wil staal smelt,moeilik verkrygbaar en duur boonop.Al wat dit doen is om gouer op hoee tempratuur en skoon te brand. En dit bring my by jou vraag oor die smelt van hoekoolstofstaal.Jy weet seker dat jy dit nie in n oop vuur kan regkry nie.Al wat gebeur as die staal fisies op so n hoee hitte kom is dat dit oksideer want die suurstof wat in die omgewing aanwesig is veroorsaak dat dit verbrand.Jy kan dit self beproef.Sit net n stukkie 5160 of iets dergelyks in n baie warm vuur en los dit daar.Na n ruk sal jy sulke oulike vonkies soos n vuurwerk opmerk en as jy die staal uithaal sal jy sien dat dit weggebrand het.Daarom is alle smelterye so ontwerp dat geen suurstof by die proses aanwesig is nie.Kyk gerus op die net na Bessemer Hoogoonde ens.Daar is heelwat info. Wat amateurs wel by die huis kan doen en wat ek tewens self doen is om ander metale soos aluminium,brons en dies meer (non Ferrous metals)te smelt en heel suksesvol in nuwe vorms te giet.Jy kan maklik jou eie smeltoond hiervoor bou.Baie inligting hieroor ook op die net.Of kontak my gerus direk. Hoop dit help. English: Your own smithing fire produces coke as part of the combustion process of coal.As soon as it has stopped smoking, glows brightly with little blue flames dancing on top it is the coke burning clean and you can do any work in it.Regards your question on melting HC steel you know that you cannot do that in an open fire.The steel simply burns due to oxygen being present,which is why smelting is always done in a closed environment.Google Bessemer Furnace for info.In your fire you will only see pretty little sparks like a firework and when you retrieve the steel ir will have burnt away a section. Amateurs, myself included, do however successfully smelt non ferrous metals like aluminium and brass in home furnaces and cast them into new shapes.There is also a lot of info under "backyard metalcasting"on the net.Or contact me directly. Hope this helps The Bear.
  13. YES MAN, the other Guys seem to be more blacksmiths than wordsmiths judging from the dearth of inputs which is a bit sad.This forum is such an ideal place to exchange ideas and hear from colleagues. Maar ons boere is mos maar n bietjie skryflui of so iets? Hoop alles is wel daar by jou Groetnis HB
  14. Hello Guys, I am building a replica of a Victorian scrolled iron garden gate and I have a feeling it is going to turn out very nicely. Will post some pics as well as a descripition on how it was done as soon as it is complete. Afrikaans: Ek is besig om n replica van n Victoriaanse tuinhek met gespiraalde versierings te bou en ek dink dit gaan baie mooi uitkom. Sal n foto of twee laai en ook die maakproses toelig sodra dit klaar is. groete BEAR