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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. Polish comes between German and Russian...
  2. CWT stamping ==> English Lack of pritchel hole ==> pre 1830 The edge chipping shows that it definitely had an applied steel face and how much of it is left. "Typical" nose damage which is not of great account and can be dressed as you wish; bearing in mind that typical anvil heights can make horn impacts a pain... Being close to 100# it's a very popular size for small work and a travel anvil. Only things I would do is check for ring and once the face was cleaned off do the ball bearing test. The ring test shows if there is any hidden damage and the BBT shows if it has even been over/de-tempered in a structure fire.
  3. "There are few mistakes in blacksmithing; just lots of mid process design changes!"
  4. Hard firebrick do not make a good gas forge body; but they do make a good material to put hot pieces on to cool or to rearrange your tong grip; so not a waste.
  5. Yet generally historically blacksmiths didn't do their own smelting in Europe. (A few rare remote Norse farmsteads are the exception.) Africa and India had tribal groups that both smelted and smithed. You can be hand powered and yet do poor quality smithing; or be motorized and yet do high quality smithing. It is the SMITH that makes the biggest difference.
  6. Bodark can be used as a fiber dye. UV does affect the colour though. I once got a hold of some very old osage orange fence posts; probably 80 years or so that made lovely knife handles when oil finished---it looked like you could dive into the surface! Most good bow woods make good tool handles as well.
  7. Is it insulating firebrick or non-insulating firebrick?
  8. Yup, I'd power wire brush off the loose rust, then BLO the sides as you are in damp country. The face will polish out nicely through use and NOTHING ELSE! Definitely one of the 200+ English makers made that one.
  9. The old "knuckle height" seems to have been more common when used with strikers and top tools. Few of us have those luxuries these days or tend to work as heavy a stock by hand. I find for smaller "precise" work wrist height works better----less back strain. Of course my striking anvil is lower. Finding the height that allows you to do your best work for the longest time is the goal; not to try to fit yourself to someone else's methods.
  10. Handles are in the "grab them when you find them cheap" category. Especially out here where commercial handles need to dry out to ambient humidities before installing them. For special hammers I like to use the "root burl" curly handles or I have some osage orange I got as firewood and slabbed and stacked and dried a decade or so per inch of thickness.
  11. I have found that hiding a propane forge in a gas grill set-up usually gets around visual issues---I mean who is going to ban gas grills? I recently fabbed a propane forge shell using a ballpeen, a hacksaw and an electric drill---riveted it together using 16penny nails for the rivets, He tank for the body and scrounged some steel from a discarded WI-oid fence for the legs and handle and some black iron pipe for the burner holder---which was riveted on too. My cost was US$0 + time. Instead of telling yourself "I can't do XYZ because I don't have JKL!" Try asking yourself "How can I do XYZ with what I do have? How did they do things before JKL was commonly available?" (Probably the most annoying example of this is the "I can't smith because I can't afford a london pattern anvil." Folks have been smithing for 3000 years without london pattern anvils; what suddenly makes it impossible to do so now?)
  12. Ark *Wielding* to the question: it depends what you are trying to accomplish. High level historical work may involve using real wrought iron, a charcoal forge and only hand hammering, riveting and forge welding. Making 250' of fence may involve an ironworker and arc welding and hot dip galvanization. I will note that all the untouched 100 year old blacksmith shops I have visited had a carbide generator to make acetylene in them..."Traditionally" blacksmiths tended to be early adopters of new technologies---often having invented them themselves...(cf vise grips). I find it useful to learn earlier techniques as that shows you when and where modern ones might actually be better and NOT restricting you to only use modern techniques---like Robb Gunter's example of spending a ton of money machining Ti parts from massive billets where a forged preform cuts time and materials down by a huge percent. I have noticed that people try to explain why the methods they use are the *CORRECT* ones and other peoples methods are WRONG WRONG WRONG. I try to fight that in myself.
  13. You mean you haven't programmed a function key to automatically insert that yet?
  14. YES, NO, MAYBE---depending on the exact type of fittings. For example: Yes on nipples and No on flair fittings. (I just hooked up a propane kitchen range in our house, some fittings required it; some it was forbidden on.)
  15. Are you trying to tell me "it's a cold gruel world"? Being sick usually raises my numbers and I'm having trouble with sudden lows---my new Dr already labeled me "brittle" on my chart. (Thanks for the suggestion; I'll try it out this weekend with our steel cut oats and some heavy labour.)