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I Forge Iron

ThomasPowers

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Everything posted by ThomasPowers

  1. My mint condition 469# Fisher cost me 75 UScents a pound; but this was back in the late 1990's and so predated IFI and the Fisher Museum. I haven't told my wife what it would sell for today, I'd never be able to eat a home cooked meal again!
  2. Naw, you keep having to fish the kids out of it before you can use it!
  3. It's like buying a used car; that one has been in a major crash and was "repaired" by a shade tree mechanic using parts that are not OEM. Possibly they don't realize that, possibly they are trying to scam you. That is a known fix; but we can't tell how well they did it. I picked up a broken base screw jack last Saturday; just to have on hand if I ever needed to try that fix. I may sell it on at Quad-State as I find enough vises with good screws/screwboxes that the only ones damaged enough to need that repair; I've bought at scrap rate, 20 USCents a pound. (And here in tool poor NM; I bought and sold 5 postvises in the last year.)
  4. Not nearly as exciting as reading the old stories of the double lunged bellows exploding and embedding their nails in the shop walls!
  5. I've forged by sunlight, moonlight, firelight, the light of the forge (coal, charcoal and propane), candle light, kerosene lanterns, propane lanterns, halogen work lights, plain old electric bulbs, fluorescent lights and I plan to try LEDs; found several of them ineffectual/dangerous to work by, others a pain to maintain; never hated any of them.
  6. They are traditionally smooth for a reason! Don't give your waitstaff sore hands---or avoid them if you do..."Try our *special*? We made it just for *you*!" Now if you cast it in clear resin....
  7. Nice to work with that stuff when you can ventilate the shop really well!
  8. My wife uses my lighted magnifier too. For bandaging I try to do my own unless the wound is worth the scolding! (As I have not developed hydrophobia and both the scrapyard dog and I are in reasonable health I guess neither one of us were rabid!)
  9. Thanks! the biggest single impediment to many people trying to get into blacksmithing is thinking they need to buy a London Pattern Anvil. (Which are $$$$$ these days.) I find this odd as the London Pattern Anvil has only been around a couple of hundred years while blacksmithing has been around about 3000 years. Showing them they can get started cheaply with an improvised anvil can get more people into the craft!
  10. I've never understood the folks building forges that say "I can't spend US$30 for good insulating refractories; but am willing to spend hundreds of extra dollars buying fuel not to mention having to stop and go to buy the fuel!"
  11. As I get older more light is a good thing; I'm also more experienced in judging heat by how long the piece is in the fire of *my* forges. Shoot I even picked up a lighted magnifier on an arm so I could pull metal splinters easier! (Yard sale of a manicurist...)
  12. It was a sad day when I realized that I had more and better tools than my Father did. I will always thank his memory that he raised me to believe that I could *do* things with my hands and could research and experiment and learn how to do things on my own. Now as I grow older; I'm quite happy to pay other people to do my waste water plumbing and car repairs; but knowing at least the basics makes it easier to tell when things are being done correctly!
  13. Two tricky items producing "hidden" water are: condensation of hot exhaust on a cold mold and sweat dropping from your face when looking to see if a mold is ready. Both can "surprise" you.
  14. Hey Tink; *we*---the net blacksmiths, coined the term ASO to refer to cast iron "anvil shaped objects" that have the form of a london pattern anvil but made from cheap grey cast iron can't be used as an anvil as they degrade too quickly. What you have is an "Improvised Anvil" made of steel and a perfectly good starter anvil! We've noticed folks misusing the term on YT lately and would like your help to keep the term used correctly to avoid misleading people as "improvised anvils" can be very good indeed! While ASO's are basically trash made to mislead folks who know nothing about anvils into spending good money on bad metal!
  15. Note that most car axles are around 1050; are there not cars where you are at?
  16. I guess you are not familiar with Cleveland IDFCW! It is a bit odd that they used the English spelling instead of the American; perhaps they intended to sell in Canada? Now if there was a vise manufacturer in Miami County Ohio...
  17. Well my strips of fiberglass have not leaked, yet; but it's only been 16 years in the intense UV of the NM sun though. As I only have 2 of them they don't increase the heat in the shop that I can tell. Of course they are mounted in areas I'm not usually standing under either. And I try to ventilate the shop excessively! Another plus for LED's is you don't have the mercury in the shop when they get hit with a piece of steel! I'll be mounting the LEDs off the roof purlins so they will be about 13' up, the outlet will be on the truss and all wiring goes through metal conduit; but accidents do happen when you are concentrating on the hot end and swinging the cold end around. I wish you were closer, I'm getting rid of 5 8' long (4 4' tubes) fluorescent fixtures and would be happy to give them to you. Been saving them for my shop; but now that power might be a possibility I decided to go with LEDs. We're using them everywhere at the University and I've been impressed with them. (Got 6 of them in my office as I write!)
  18. Are you using a punch or a chisel? Punches are not sharpened but flat on the bottom and should produce a slug when used. If you are using a chisel it may be too fat and that can throw it off. Of course slitting chisels really need to be made from high alloys steels like S-7 or H-13 so they can be buried in hot steel without softening! A slitting chisel should be following your drill holes with no problem. As for forge welding stop by my smithy sometime and I'll run you through a couple of welds; perhaps do a hawk from a farrier's rasp.
  19. 1095 can hardened as you worked it if you were not real careful of temps. For hardened steel I have used a solid carbide bit; expensive and *delicate* and not the first choice!
  20. Here in the USA you can get "commercial" tanks without the flow limiter. (Often in larger tanks size). I don't know the regulations in Canada; ask a local propane dealer up there!
  21. Here in the USA, bottle exchange places are common at larger stores for BBQ sized bottles, and where I live is a rural area; so we don't have natural gas piped to houses. Many rely on larger tanks of propane for home heating and other uses---we have a propane kitchen range for instance. This tank is refilled by a truck that delivers it and refills the tank on site. These propane dealers will also refill smaller tanks brought to them. The prices I quoted were from TSC a sort of DIY place that also sells propane as a means of luring customers in... Are you in a city, rural, suburbia? Definitely ask around, prices may vary between dealers! I used to live in the inner city of a pretty good sized city just south of an expensive to live in "Historical district" known for not having any out buildings for storage and so every year in the fall people would junk their propane grills and bottles---often still with propane in them! I could see them in the alleyway and ask and so I am up to 6 BBQ bottles now for the cost of being alert and willing to ask.
  22. Apple; your questions tend to be indeterminate: exp can you tell me what mpg *my* vehicle gets? How much propane your forge uses depends on the forge and how you are using it. How easy it is to get refills depends on LOCATION; are you 400 meters from a place that does refills or is it 60 km? Refills are almost always cheaper than buying a new bottle; as you are not paying for another bottle! (a 20# Bottle, appx 4.6 american gallons, costs about US$45 new, and gas at US$3.75 a gallon; trade ins usually run higher or come with less gas; so refills are the way to go!) Is there anyone in BABA, British Artist Blacksmith Association, in your area that can help you with location specific information? Here in the USA last time I checked I was spending a bit more than US$2 an hour running my two Frosty T burner forge. I run my forge from a 100# tank in the shop and 2 bbq tanks, (20#) on the road.
  23. I added 20' x 30' x 10' on the cheap to my professionally built shop: free telephone poles for the uprights, a couple of sacks of concrete per pole; US$300 for some old metal trusses found on CL, I bought the C purlins and a lot of SD-ST metal screws and got all the propanel free as hail damaged or overruns from replacing hail damaged roofs. (Plus 2 fiberglass panels bought new for skylights.) Sand/gravel floor with a 2".x6" PT perimeter Oh yeah a 10'x10' used roll up door from a smith for $75. All the work done by me and my friends.
  24. Fort Smith and Fayetteville areas; Going up to Noel on AR Hw 59 is a favorite of ours, especially when the road runs under the bluff face!
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