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I Forge Iron

Robert Simmons

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    Broomfield, CO
  • Interests
    Metal Working, RVing, Shooting, Reloading, Hunting, Fishing.

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  1. I fervently believe in free speech. Should the free market of ideas go down, tyranny will be not far behind. I may agree with NOTHING that aftist and some others post on the subject of politics but I respect and would fervently defend their right to say it. I would hope they do me the same courtesy. As for the original post, I hope those working at the factory can find a job and move on to the next big challenge in life. We all have to remember that challenges are meant to be overcome so dont get bogged down in what might have been. As for Tremont, my friend said he would be calling them up. So more business for them and a good positive outcome for this thread. Finally, when it comes to oak barrels, ya they are findable. I should have specified "affordable and findable" Also I dont need a 55 gallon drum for a quenching barrel but something like a 15 gallon keg.
  2. the point of the post wasnt to compete in knowledge of harleys. I drive them, I dont mess with them mechanically. The ENTIRE point of my post is that it was the COMPANY that made the changes it needed to survive. The government had little to nothing to do with it.
  3. Wow, look at the oak barrells. Hard to find those these days. I would love to have a couple for quenching.
  4. Hey thomas, I had considered making a spring fuller out of a spring. Have you tried this? Of course I would have to get a bigger spring from somewhere. I am working on that one. Also do you prefer things like spring fullers over the guillotine tool? If so then why? Like I said I had been considering making a spring fuller but I am in a toss up about whether I would be better off with making a guillotine tool and some dies for it. Oh by the way, the hardie works like a charm. 15 nails now and counting. :)
  5. Couldnt have said it better myself. And as a point of order, I thought my posts were both filled with love for america, hope and belief in the people of america. The only people that could have gotten "hate" off them would be marxists or socialists. For the record, I believe in the capability of PEOPLE to excel and triumph in their endeavors if so left alone by the government. Ahh a success story. But glad you brought it up. I have a friend looking for a few thousand nails for a restoration project and I will point them at this company. I cant quite make them fast enough nor accurate enough yet to meet his demands but I am sure this company can. When you become a moderator that will matter. Until then, I believe that so long as I remain in the boundaries of the rules of the forum I may say what I wish. The fact that you don't agree with me doesn't give you the right to silence me. Nor would I wish to silence you. I fervently believe in freedom of speech and the marketplace of ideas. You make your arguments, I make mine and people reading decide for themselves. That is how honest debate works. I am also a vehement libertarian, historian and American patriot that believes the original founding of this country was pure genius. I am proud of that. Well that didn't bother the Japanese's motorcycle makers one bit. People still bought their bikes and fat cats in the government bureaucracies had more cash to give out to their friends and bribe members of the legislature with. Government is inherently corrupt and that is why it must be restrained. No, the only people that were hurt by those tariffs were the Americans purchasing a Japanese motorcycle. Harley had problems because its quality became legendary for being horrible. The Sportster shook so bad it would push the blood out of your hands. It wasn't tariffs that made Harley succeed, it was Harley that made them succeed. They went through hard times, took a good long look at their products, fixed the quality issues, innovated counterbalancers for the camshafts of its huge v-twins and restructured its marketing campaign to appeal to core Americana instead of trying to get the sport bike crowd off their Honda. They reinvented cruising, promoted a number of events such as Sturgis and redefined the culture of the harley biker from the outlaw bikers to the cruising biker. Harley succeeded because of itself. And no matter what tariffs were imposed, if Harley didn't improve itself they were toast. I give Harley Davidson ALL the credit for saving Harley and the government all the credit for exploiting the issue to sap more money out of the American motorcycle driving public. Oh BTW I have driven Harleys Since 1990. So I know quite a bit about them.
  6. Yet no time in history has that ever worked. If we charge a tariff for chinese goods what do you think they will do for our goods? Furthermore, what would that accomplish since manufacturing has been driven out of the USA. Where are the people going to get things that are now made in china? The answer is, still from china, but the government will be collecting fat taxes from the people and those in power will be deciding who to distribute YOUR money to. Oh you didn't think the companies would swallow that tax did you? Of course they will pass on taxes to the people. Companies don't directly pay tax, they collect it from the people in the form of higher prices. Once the price is so high they cant make a profit because of lower demand, they stop making that product or go out of business. Thats the problem with socialism and marxism. They all assume that the "enemy corporations" will just take it on the chin. Again these companies are in business to make a profit and that profit is best made when they provide an excellent product for a price the market will bear. Once the market will not bear the price that the company needs to make a profit, the company will go out of business and that is what has happened to steel mills, manufacturing plants, nail factories and all sorts of factory work in the last 60 years. The marxist or socialist responds by demanding government control despite the lessons of history telling us that is disastrous. I ask you how many hundred million more people must die in the world before the left finally realizes that it is the system of socialism and marxism that is evil and does not work? Socialists come back again and again with "it can work if the right people are in charge!!!" Again and again that socialist experiment proves murderous and oppressive. And yet with all of the vitriol slung at capitalism, it did propel a country only 250 and change years old to a position of being a superpower, with the best standard of living, the best equality for women and minorities and the best place to be on the planet. That evil old capitalism did that in the meantime socialist government after socialist government has come and gone, usually taking few million lives with it. Capitalism ensured that probably nearly 9 out of 10 medical inventions in the past 50 years were invented in america. Capitalism invented the microchip, the automobile, the electric light bulb, the solar panel, the very internet we are debating on right now and countless other improvements in humanity. Those evil profit seeking corporations and small businesses have driven the modernization of the world and even massive reductions in hunger. Freedom, liberty, capitalism, the dream of starting from nothing and becoming rich drove a man named bill gates to develop a piece of software in his garage while Steve Jobs did the same in another garage. The capitalist system allowed an immigrant to become rich and then governor of california. Nowhere else on the planet can a nobody become a multi billionaire just by sheer force of will. In most countries if you are not born into the aristocracy, you will never get there, if you arent born to riches you will never achieve them. Only in America, the evil old capitalist empire it is, can a nobody working out of his garage become one of the richest men in the world. People flood to America daily in the millions to try to capture that which can be had on FEW places on the planet. And yet we dont see a flood of americans striving to immigrate to communist china. All of this because of what you would call "corporate greed." The answer lies not in the government. The government is the PROBLEM. The answer lies in liberty, low taxes, fewer regulations and allowing businesses to do what they do best.
  7. Capitalism is the most moral system out there. Companies survive by catering to the market and if they mess up enough, the market will slap them down and they will go out of business. Socialism and its brother communism have killed more people on the planet than any other ideology. The Nazis, Soviets, Chinese, leaders of cambodia, south america and so on have killed hundreds of millions of people in their quest for the "common good." America was set up to value the individual rights of people and property rights over the collective and it is through the workings of that system that america has become the single biggest superpower on the planet in a scant 250 years. All the socialist countries have warred, slaughtered, murdered and collapsed. What is interesting to me is how people have been "re-educated" by the left to think that socialism is the only moral system when all it accomplishes is to put an unaccountable bureaucrat in charge rather than an executive that must face the wrath of his shareholders and consumers. People seem to think the demigods in the government are somehow superior to those "evil" capitalists no matter how many times those demigods, enslave, murder, destroy and impoverish the people they are supposed to protect. Simply put 39% corporate tax rate plus people being paid 40$ an hour to put a BOLT on a car caused the collapse of the manufacturing sector in america. The unions cant be fired, cant be broken and can destroy companies. They destroyed GM and chrysler and now the american taxpayer is funding the stupid pensions promised to the union workers. This is all the while the union bosses get paid millions and continue to fund organized crime, threaten and cajole the members, and support left wing causes with non-optional dues. Now it is cheaper to get the raw materials, ship them to china, assemble the product and ship it back to america then to manufacture the same product in america. The unions have put themselves clean out of a Job and as a result manufacturing is all but dead in america. Companies exist to make a profit. That is their motivation. Do you start your blacksmithing shop with the expectation of charity. If someone wants a fence made and you ask 5000 for the gate do yo survive if the government steps in and says you can only charge 3000? So those evil corporations and their evil greed is what makes the economy go. When they make more money, they expand operations and hire more workers and invent more products which makes them more money and so on. Socialism only bleeds society dry of all incentive, all property and allows those with the "gimme" mentality to exist off the backs of those who actually make the economy go. Oh and one final thing. The concept of a "fair wage" is a relative one. If your idea of that wage puts the company out of business then you have "fair waged" yourself right out of a job. No, the company is not going to go bankrupt paying you your "fair wage". They will simply take their business elsewhere. And you have no right whatsoever to the earnings of another person. You will get paid for a job based on what it is worth to the market. To have it any different is suicide to business and means unemployment to the worker. Its like I teach my son. I hold up a pencil and I ask how much it is worth. He says 50 cents. I correct him and say its worth whatever I can get the market to pay for it. If you cant get the market to pay what you want then you have to upgrade your skills, invent something or make a business of your own. If you cant do that you will go out of business. As one philosopher once said, "The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money." Usually when socialists run out of other people's money, "liquidating" the "undesirables" is not far behind. It has happened over and over and over again in history. How many times must humanity put its hand on that burner before we learn the lesson. Now vote me down if you don't like it. I don't care. What I speak is the cold hard truth. Yes I agree with this wholeheartedly. Also patently absurd. Why not charge 100% tax for any company that outsources? Wouldn't that stop the COLD??? No actually, it wouldn't. They would simply move their corporate headquarters to other countries and then there wouldn't be ANY of their jobs in america. The more you penalize businesses for doing business here, the more they will leave the USA and simply sell to americans as exports. How do we stop that? Take over the world? One world government run by the UN where our constitution is superseded by the general assembly (a group comprised of 3/4 two bit dictators and thugs). No no. The way to make america grow is to encourage businesses to do business here. Being hostile to business is tantamount to strapping bowling balls to your ankles and going swimming.
  8. 39% corporate Tax rate + union mandated wages + stupid environmental regs = bankruptcy or companies moving to china which have none of those issues. America used to manufacture some of the best goods in the world until unions and progressives started driving the manufacturing overseas.
  9. Well getting to that forge, and especially that burner was something of a journey. However, I don't know why it wouldnt work in the winter. I cant imagine even a 50 point drop in ambient shop temperature would affect the forge much given that it is 2000+ degrees inside. As for the forge, its good but the bricks get a bit fragile when hot. I have broken a few reconfiguring. Frosty has the best variable volume forge in my opinion and I am getting there. However, I would change a couple of things that he did such as the roof. But anyway, it will get there. It works for now.
  10. Thanks. What is a set hammer? Do you have a link to one for sale so I can see what you mean?
  11. Well I started to get into something a bit more artistic. Leaves may be old hat for many of you but this is my first attempt at a leaf with a vine stem. I started with a 1/2" round bar, squared it, tapered it to a point, used another 1/2" bar as an improvised fuller to make the bottom of the leaf. After I had the basic form I flattened the leaf, then using my cross peen, spread it out. Then I had to work on creating the stem which I did using the horn and radius edge of my anvil as a fuller, then flattening the fuller raised areas and squaring it off and finally rounding the stem. Then I used a hot cut hardy to separate the leaf, heated yellow and over three successive heats I used my machinist vise (dont have a post vise) to make the ring and then wrap the stem, I tried to do some veining but I just don't have the right tools I think because it didn't take well. Id like to be able to do raised veins in the back but I would have no idea how. So what do you think?
  12. I thought I would make up a post on processing a coil spring from start to finish for hand tools. As I am a greenhorn, I plan to use this steel to build my tool collection. I need chisels, punches, drifts, you name it. We (my 14 year old son and I) started with two automotive coil springs I got at a scrap yard. I first cut off whole coils then cut coils in half. This left us with a ton of half circle rings. Now it was time to heat them. They al had some kind of paint on them so I made sure I had good ventilation and stuffed them al in the forge to heat to yelow. We straightened them all on the anvil and then tossed them in my bucket (which is lined with castabe refractory). After we had them all in the forge to heat to yellow dso they could anneal. We had to shuffle them a bit but eventually all were yellow. Finally we buttoned up the forge tight to let them cool slowly to anneal. With that much metal it should take hours to cool inside the firebrick forge. And soon we shall be able to start making tools.
  13. Well if that is the case then fine. I just saw a lot of ambguity and I think the quote from Tolkien above is just about right. Adapted "Go not to iforgeiron for advice for they shall say both yes and no." Seriously though, its just that if you dont have that critical mass of base knowledge and are trying to acquire it, it gets frustrating. I appreciate all the help but just sometimes it feels a bit like riding in acar with Stevie Wonder driving. Honestly its hard to offend me. Frustrating me is much easier but I am not easily offended. To be honest I dont remember you by name. I am just trying to find my way in the forrest without doing things that are obviously stupid. I was looking more for suggestions than Kudos. As it is from 4 pages I have learned some stuff but it certainly wasnt clear. now I am debating how I want to temper my hardie ... lol. I suppose I can always regrind it if I screw up. There is plenty of material there. Perhaps some day ThomasPowers can introduce me to Arwen ... well ... I think my wife would kill me then .. perhaps not such a good idea.
  14. Oh I can handle adapting. If I couldn't and I couldn't handle criticism I would have been gone long ago. However, adaptation requires a starting point to adapt from. If someone says "well purple will get you close but really you will have to try the punch and reharden it either harder or softer if it doesn't perform how you like it," then I can handle that. But when I always hear "it depends" and no one is willing to offer a starting point then its like trying to get a straight answer out of a politician. What would be helpful to hear is something like, "Well Robert the hardening depends on the use, carbon content and alloys. Purple is a good starting color but if you do X and Y happens you might want to go harder or if you do Z and T happens then you might want to go softer. Experiment around to see what is appropriate for that stock." Now that would be helpful. I am certainly not a smithing expert but in my humble opinion some people here are not really communication experts either. Though they are obviously very accomplished smiths, they seem to have trouble articulating some things. "It depends" works fine on a theory and forum but what am I supposed to do with the "it depends" in a shop? I want to learn and become better but that requires at least a starting point from which to build. I initially asked "if not purple then what color" or something to that effect and I was told "it depends" rather than some ways I could know which way to go either way and whether purple was even in the ballpark or completely off base. BAH ... I didn't want to be in another argument over what I felt was a triumph for my green newbie blood but it appears that I am, yet again, in another. Sigh.
  15. I am not taking anything as gospel. I am wondering what the source is. If that source is his experience then that is fine, I respect that. However it doesn't help one little bit unless I can put Grant in some sort of high tech gadget and download his head. So if i cant rely on oxide charts from several sources, and the only other source is an experienced smith, then I am quite frankly out of luck and shouldn't bother. I am sorry but all this vagueness and "it depends" and so on are all well and good and probably even accurate but that doesnt convey any information at all to someone new to the trade except probably the underlying message of, "Oh you green wannabe, get lost or go find a smith to apprentic under for 15 years before you post again." That may be how you feel but it doesnt advance my cause, or for that matter allowing new people to get into the trade. What newer smiths need is some guide that gets them near the target to the point where they can gain that experience that grant already has instead of saying all the time, "it depends." So my next question would logically be, "If I cant download grant from somewhere and I dont have time to be an apprentice for 15 days, much less 15 years, how do I know the temper is correct or at least good enough?" If your reply "it depends" I will, for certain, scream.
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