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About ThomasPowers

  • Rank
    Senior Moment Member; Master Curmudgeon

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  • Gender
    Not Telling
  • Location
    Central NM/El Paso TX Area, USA
  • Interests
    Iron Smelting


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

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  1. ThomasPowers

    Show me your anvil

    Yup; My Father was the first person in our family to graduate from High School; he got a scholarship to a small college and ended up a VP in an AT&T-Phillips joint Venture then President of Cellular systems for AT&T. I got a couple of degrees and have worked for several world famous research organizations as a Software Engineer, (AT&T Bell Labs, NRAO); My eldest Daughter---lets just say the staff where she works calls her Dr Powers....In general Americans are more interested in what *you* have done than what some one several hundred years ago may have done. (We're also Mongrels!)
  2. ThomasPowers


    Search on: Joseph Wright of Derby An Iron Forge 1772 The Forge c. 1817 painting by Francisco Goya Apollo in the Forge of Vulcan, 1613 Velazquez And there is a bunch of various takes on Venus at/in the Forge of Vulcan (Note Nudity present) In particular look at the anvils in Nicolaas Marten Fierlants, Venus in the Forge of Vulcan the vise in Louis de Boullogne the Younger - Venus in the Forge of Vulcan (might as well click on more images on the search page of Venus in the forge of Vulcan...popular subject)
  3. ThomasPowers

    Wrought Iron - Unlikely Source?

    Depends on the brand. Mr Postman told me my William Foster from 1827 was made with very low grade WI and so If I wanted to reface it the traditional way I should first forgeweld the face to a plate of WI and then do a WI to WI weld.
  4. ThomasPowers

    Show me your anvil

    Hey; I resemble that remark!
  5. ThomasPowers

    propane forge inline shut off switch or valve

    search on propane forge idle circuit for examples some even here at IFI!
  6. ThomasPowers

    propane forge inline shut off switch or valve

    People have been doing this for decades; usually they use a bypass to keep a "pilot light" running for turning it back on. Johnson forges ran a spark plug to make sure no unburnt gas could get out. As to safety: Yes NO Maybe depending on details. Usually slows down forging if you are allowing the forge to cool between heats.
  7. ThomasPowers

    Show me your anvil

    We have advertisements from around 100 years ago where anvil manufacturers advertised that they would repair anvils sent to them needing face work up to and including re-facing by forge welding a new one on. Some are shown in "Anvils in America", Richard Postman. I think we would use the term "farm smithing" instead of "peasant". I have reprints of the 1897, 1905, 1908 Sears Roebuck catalogs whither their complete blacksmithing set ups for sale under the slogan "Every Farmer Their Own Blacksmith" And yes over here as well Farm smithing is characterized by not generally being of the highest level but more of a "git er done with whatever is to hand..."
  8. ThomasPowers

    Hello from Romania! A new/old hobby startup!

    In rust we trust! Steel that is not plated or coated will rust (unless it's stainless and even stainless can rust under certain conditions). So when sourcing scrapyard steels I look for rust.
  9. depends a lot on how you want the hardy to look.
  10. ThomasPowers

    What did you do in the shop today?

    If you are working merchant bar wrought iron it does have a tendency to split along the weld lines. Helps a bit to punch/drift normal to the bar flats; but as mentioned working too cold does not end well....Did you forge weld it back up?
  11. ThomasPowers

    BTUs, coal vs coke vs charcoal vs wood

    "Steel Manufacturing" is rather ambiguous: do you mean the production of steel or the production of items made from steel? With regards to SMELTING: Coke has more impurities than charcoal; especially sulfur and they had great problems getting metal that wasn't hot short when they switched to coke, (coal was never used for smelting for a large number of reasons of which impurities play a big part.) They had to move to coke because they didn't have enough wood for charcoal in the UK. So Abraham Darby figured out you could smelt with coke in the 1700's Note the last charcoal blastfurnace in the Hanging Rock region in the USA went out of blast around WW1 it lasted that long due to the immense forests it owned and the purity of the product it produced. (I toured the remains left in the HR region during the Ironmasters Conference in Athens OH, USA). The Charcoal Iron from Sweden has been famed for it's purity and ease of use after smelting with coke became the norm. Now with regards to FORGING: in the West they started using coal for forging around the high/late Middle Ages, (Cathedral Forge and Waterwheel, Gies & Gies); but the way you use coal is to burn it to coke and then use the coke to heat your metal. The use of charcoal for forging has never stopped from the beginning of the iron age to now! Again most of the "industrial countries" in Europe ran short of wood early in the industrial revolution. England passed laws against the building of new smelters in Elizabethan times as they needed wood for shipbuilding. Note that charcoal and coal have about the same BTU content PER POUND but the density is much greater with coal. A bit muddled as I'm skyping a meeting...fell free to discuss this further...
  12. ThomasPowers

    What should I make first?

    A good stout cold chisel is a great way to remove frozen nuts or bolt heads at the scrapyard when you don't want to bring the entire item home with you!
  13. ThomasPowers

    First Forge Build - I don't know what I'm doing.

    I had fumbled fingered a t for an r when discussing tree attacks.... Just like some of us probably need a personal guardian angel; others of us may need a personal moderator---or both!
  14. ThomasPowers

    Show me your anvil

    Yes the overwhelming majority of people we get new here, High 90%,, do not have your knowledge and skills and some of them have gone on to seriously damage perfectly usable anvils---You do realize that on a public forum we are writing to the entire world and not just you right? I'm not sorry I used your post to hammer home some lessons for folks less experienced than you. I am sorry you took it so personally. I've only been smithing 37 years now; spent a year apprenticed to a top swordmaker during the early part of that, (6 days a week in the shop, no pay but 2 meals a day with the family type of apprenticeship). Was part of a bloomery crew for a dozen years; took a few MatSci classes at Cornell and have taught a Metallurgy student and helped out a Metallurgy Professor with forging. Taught a brief pattern welding class to a smith working at an Open Air Museum in Southern Germany. My real Wrought Iron scrap pile is about a long ton and I've forged it as well as smelted it. As people seem to think that anvils from 100+ years ago are special things I presented a quote from back then to try to get them to be Hippocratic: "First Do No Harm!" You are welcome to argue with me or ignore me---Mods; is the ignore function still working? Shoot I've worked with Germans in my day job and their "Strong Opinions" do not bother me...
  15. ThomasPowers

    Forestry harvester chansaw bars

    Also spark spectrometer