bruce wilcock

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About bruce wilcock

  • Rank
    Senior Member

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  • Location
    hillswick shetland isles uk
  • Interests
    black powder .fishing. hill walking wild life photos
  • Occupation
    blacksmith

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  1. I almost dare not ask this. But is Bruce still out there? 2011 is a while ago.

  2. roll the hinge plate full length to take the pin , then cut the center slot out ,two hack saw cuts or angle grinder ,then with a hot set cut the center out slope your set so to make a neat fit for the strap ,made all the hinges for drop down rail waggon sides by cutting the middle out after forging the barrel ,then we moved to welding a tube onto a plate then again cutting the middle out.
  3. to light a coal fire ,a small pice of charred cotton lit with sparks of the grinder or flint if you ar a purist, a hand full of dry sawdust and shavings put on charred coal and dont blow it too hard ,if you have a large built forge that holds a lot of coal when you shut down make shure the coal in the forge is well isolated from the burning coals , if the wind gets up through the night you will have a nice warm smithy in the morning and no coal
  4. yes i have worked on a bridge anvil ,forging shackles , clevises and devils claws to hold chain,at the time i was a striker so i didnt take a lot of notice ,all the anvils around the hammers were a good striking hight ,so the bridge anvils would have been around the same hight the base was part of the anvil and i dont remember them on timber just bolted to the floor , they had to be fastened down becouse we used the hole to bend or streighten bars ,they were rough and all went to the scrap along with the big vises and huge swage blocks ,the smaller anvils vices and benders sold ,this would be around 1968
  5. if your anvil is wrought iron with a steel face you should be able to go over the soft pike with a hammer and planish out most of those pits cold,its a nice anvil shape
  6. once you get to the East coast build a raft, the anvil weighs around 5 cwt you will have to make allowance for food and water ,the days are getting longer ,set course for 60deg 28mins North 01 deg 29mins West ,you can over winter here ,then set of back via the Azores the following spring ,the anvils is free ,so finances should be no problem
  7. yes you can have it ,exchange for a days work clearing the shop ,its only a boat ride away,
  8. the anvil i am working on in, youtube bruce wilcock forging rings ,and tongs is marked 7 cwt 1 qr -5 lb 42 ins long and 18 ins high this is a nice anvil to work on as the weight is in the waist and the short base has been filled with punchings mixed with cement ,no visible name but it came from kirkstall forge along with another same size ,dad exchanged that for a small anvil in the 60s to take out shoing , as kirkstall forge made anvils i dont think they would have bought one so its proberly thers .The anvil used in the youtube anchor welding ,is a cast steel anvil with 428 lbs stamped in not cast on it again no name ,it soon makes a anvil feel small when thw jobs get heavier, the vidioes were made in 2004 .we have a double ended one out in the yard that is 3-1/2 foot long that is in good order but the weight is in the ends and makes it tippy when used for heavy striking ,i will try to get photos of them .Bruce
  9. i see one on it with the gas ax sharpish at the end, no time to stand and stare , proberly blow through it and drag it out with the fork lift , bet its a pig to get cleared and running again ,though nothing they wont have seen before,nice to be retired when you see things like that.
  10. i have lifted the face on two anvils one looked mutch like the one in the photo when we had done with it ,olso knocked the tail of another ,its easy done working on heavy chain ,and shackles when the job cannot be got back in a fire ,and men are tired working on cooling iron ,with a job that has to be got out ,now . Though most big anvils get cracked using a swing monkey and catching the edge of the face a glancing blow.Unless you know the history of the anvil ,dont be so hard on the men that used it, some of the work that went over it proberly wasnt easy, and some verging on mission impossible,and remember rough work was done on the rough anvils ,keeping both steeled toe boots on the floor would be good advice when in the company of lads bouncing there anvil 6ins in the air ,in the dry dock ,driving out rusted shackle pins ,and it is there anvil after all .
  11. there is no mention of anvil ringing ,in the records of the worshipfull company of blacksmiths ,that i can find ,and having been to funerals of blacksmiths with other blacksmiths present no mention of anvil ringing was ever made ,perhaps the oposite whilst stood with a group in the early 60s of a recently decesed blacksmiths, shop a young lad picked up a pick sharpning hammer on the anvil and my father told him to not strike the anvil ,let it stay quiet he was told ,could be they just wanted to talk ,or reverance for the old smith ,i have no idea, the only thing i am farirly shure of anvil ringing wasnt a custom ,there were enough men there that day for at least one to have known ,and that occassion was ideal if it had been.
  12. if you look a old photos of women chain makers in the black country uk, like Wippets hard fit no spare flesh on them and they would give most of us a good run ,and they reared a clutch of kids as well as work ,my wife Brenda did her bit when we were newly wed ,she now says to son Ben , leave me out been there done that.
  13. we have one anvil pike towards the hearth and mine pike away , so i have a anvil in both camps bets on each way ,and one 5cwt anvil in the shed with the massey that we lay on its side against the wall to swing a monkey on just to confuse the issue .Still back to sheds i find a sill or step a in or out at the door a pain .
  14. if you are pushed for room setting your hearth into the wall ,like a bakers oven flush with the wall and canopy and flue outside ,built of stone or bocks it makes a neat job ,olso keeps the shop tidy ,i worked at a shoeing shop that had five hearths all set into the wall with the flues outside the hearths were made of brick with arched tops like a row of bee hives .As an aside all the anvils faced the same way pike tawards tong hand, apart from mine i was the only left hander ,men working on pice work soon had to find the way to make a living and way a anvil faced was not custom ,it was found to make work flow better ,if we were needing a good edge we went around the anvil ,all the anvils were well broken in .Hope you get your shed up , big sky lights are a great help and stop peepers peeping in.
  15. when we make tongs the rivet is forged from the same material as the tongs , the foundries stated on the spec sheets rivets to be same material as tongs .