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About ThomasPowers

  • Rank
    Senior Moment Member; Master Curmudgeon

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  • Gender
    Not Telling
  • Location
    Central NM, USA, Sol 3
  • Interests
    Iron Smelting, Historical Ferrous Metals Technologies


  • Location
    Central NM
  • Interests
    Iron smelting
  • Occupation
    bit herder

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  1. Learning to replace handles is part of the "necessary skills" for a smith in my opinion. Keeping an eye open to pick up handles cheap helps a lot as does being able to look at a handle and see if it's a good one or a bad one or if the bad spot will be removed when you fit the handle to your hand... Out here I have to let "store bought" handles hang for a year as the ambient humidity is often much lower than kiln dried wood! Buying one at a garage sale that been sitting around a while speeds up use! And beware of "new" handles in old tools that were NOT put in correctly! My favorite tale was I was haggling for an interesting hammer head where the dealer wanted way too much for it because it had a NEW HANDLE in it. I finally pulled the new handle out just using my hands and handed it to him and asked "How much for just the head?" I would have had to junk that brand new handle anyway it was so badly mounted and didn't want to pay extra for it to boot!
  2. Ok, I have to ask this: "Did you ask on that website about dealing with your alignment issues?" Always the first step when working with something from someone else's plans!
  3. Those old chisels generally make good drifts and punches once you get good at hammering and start to need such tools, Generally you can just normalize them and not need to worry about heat treating unknown alloys. Note, when grinding off the mushrooming watch the sparks and if you get any that throw off the "July 4th finale" type; save them away for things needing high carbon... (To get an idea of what you are looking for; touch the end of a file against the grinder and observe those sparks.)
  4. My first "blacksmithing hammer" a single jack, I paid US$1.50 for and am still using it regularly 38 years later.---It's on its 4 handle, students help a lot with that...It originally had a red handle on it and when I put a new one in I had to colour it red too so I could "find it", next handle after that I was able to stop doing that.
  5. Getting in touch with the local affiliate is often the best way to find out information local to yourself as folks halfway around the world often don't know Louisville CO from Louisville KY (or even Louisville South Africa)
  6. He even has it arranged so he doesn't need an apprentice for the "When I nod my head, hit it!"
  7. The tang mount for the postvise means it's an earlier one. How is the screw and screwbox on it? Soderfors are a HIGH QUALITY anvil and your buy is nothing to be ashamed of. A 150# anvil is a good shop sized anvil and might be the last anvil you buy too---unless you pick up a travel anvils to do demos on the road with.
  8. Top row: top left a set of shoeing tools, nipper or pull offs---note can be reforged into tongs with care, 2 sets of gas pliers Bottom row: bottom far left a drilling hammer, not the easiest to learn to forge with and would need careful dressing, small cross peen, another style of drilling hammer?, another set of gas pliers, A set of tongs I'd have to look at to specify use---possibly able to be reforged into a more useful set , tile nippers, swager,. cabinet makers hammer and lastly hammer to the far right is a cobbler's hammer used for working on shoes, some of them were made from cast iron and not suitable for hitting metal. Not much use for a beginning smith; and prices from "collectors" tend to be higher than prices from garage sales and junk shops. The gas pliers can be used to hold small items but you would only need 1 set---the longer handles the better. The small crosspeen would work for doing leaves and other small work. What I would be looking for is a 2-3 pound single jack, (like a sledge hammer but with a smaller head and shorter handle to be used in one hand), sometimes called an engineer's hammer. Perhaps a 32 oz ball peen and a 2-3# cross or straight peen with a ROUNDED peen---my favorite has a peen around 1" in diameter! see
  9. Have you checked out the Resources page on the Rocky Mountian Smiths web site;it's an ABANA affiliate in CO?
  10. Look on the front foot below the horn for serial IIRC and yes the Brooklyn NY is a telltale for HB. What's the ball bearing test result and does it have a good ring? These two tests give a good indication on if there is any hidden damage. The BBT shows if it has been in a fire and lost it's temper sometime in the past and the ring shows if there are any hidden cracks in it. (Think of it as being like checking out the engine and transmission of a used car; hard to give an estimated price for one not knowing those details.)
  11. Looks good to me; but if you are totally new to the craft you may want to start out with plain mild steel until you get your heat control and hammering up to snuff before you start working with the harder to hammer and narrower forging range higher C stuff. Foreground left looks like a good starter hardy.
  12. My double lunged bellows was large; but it would store air and so continue to blow the fire even when I was not touching it.
  13. What it's worth depends on Location, Make, Location, Style, Location, Condition, Location, Size, and Location. Anvils are cheaper in England than in Australia for instance and we have over 150 countries participating here on the world wide web. (Shoot just here in the USA the price may vary by several hundred dollars depending on WHERE in the USA you are at.) In the reply box it has a "Drag Files here to attach or choose files". To add pictures; Drag Files there to attach or select choose files to browse. You are using a PC to do this just like me right?
  14. I noticed that when I relined my forge and put a coating of castable refractory in it. Took longer to come up to forging temp; but then maintained temps much better afterwards.