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I Forge Iron


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Everything posted by ThomasPowers

  1. Except it's not ALL human knowledge and a lot of it is pure muck!
  2. Went to the scrapyard; they closed early, I only got 29 pounds out; some strapping of a convenient size, a garden rake head, a very rusted file (fire?), set of Sheffield England needle nose pliers and a left handed thread thimble skein in excellent shape---at least that's what the 1897 Sears Roebuck catalog calls it--a metal cover for the end of a wooden axle that a wooden wagon wheel would fit on. The left handed nut came off with no penetrating oil needed. Once started I unscrewed it by hand! A bit more metal I thought I could use to round it out. I passed two pickups full of scrap
  3. I tend to scrounge grills off of round BBQ grills, light chains. Personally I don't put anything on a grill that a 3/8" S hook won't handle. OTOH I once traded a cat neutering for a tripod sized to hold a 20+ gallon cast iron pot and contents---everything sized up for that one and the feet were specially made for the weight: 4" tapered point, then a flattened section bent at an angle to the point, a section flat to the ground and then bent up for the upright. The point keeps the tripod from splaying under weight and the flat section keeps it from sinking in---you can also step on the fl
  4. Is this an insulating refractory or will you be using it on top of something like kaowool?
  5. I get my insulin shipped in an insulated container and had to refuse an order that was supposed to be next day and instead took a detour to the east coast with temps above 100 degF in the shade! That mix up cost someone over US$3000!
  6. One of my favorite "odd ball tongs" is my "hot firebrick tongs" made from a very crude old set of nippers/pulloffs? and sized to hold and move hot firebricks around while the forge is active.
  7. Estate sales of other blacksmiths. Library book sales. Used book stores and fleamarkets in this and other countries---who was it that said "Travel Broadens the Mind and Thins the Wallet"?
  8. In knifemaking we used to suggest that someone work on knives nights and weekends until the knives started to bring in at least 1/2 of what their day job did and *then* think about going full time!
  9. Jim Weyer of the "Points of Interest" series; once said that he wasn't the best photographer out there; but he was the best one doing knives at that time.
  10. And doesn't have the fibers issue like using kaowool. Vermiculite is good too; but I don't know how easy it is to find over there.
  11. I agree. but will spare you the other racks pictures.
  12. Wives, Partners, Significant Others, never are happy in those situations!
  13. We're flipping between wearing shorts and a T shirt and needing to fire up the woodstove at nights. We do have the bedroom window open and sometimes a box fan in it.
  14. Also are you confusing normalizing with annealing? You can anneal 5160, a common alloy for automotive springs, and while it won't be as soft as annealed mild steel; it will still be easier to drill, file, etc. One thing to be wary of: when you get down to blade thicknesses you often need to put a "helper" piece of steel in the annealing container with the blade to "donate heat" so that the blade cools slowly enough to anneal. Dry sifted wood ashes make a good annealing compound and are generally easily found. As to hardness: most knife blades are harder than leaf springs. Howeve
  15. Wrought iron comes in a lot of various qualities; the coarser/lower grade it is the fussier it is when working and the more it's structure shows up in etching. I would suggest making a test coupon and seeing what works best with the WI *you* are getting.
  16. Bigger the propane forge the more it costs to run, I've spent over US$150 on propane this year already. May be cheaper to have both a big propane forge and a little one and only use the big one when you have to!
  17. I was hoping that in this set piece John, that smithing magician, would shoulder the blame and was heading that-a-way! But we're having a ball in that joint anyway! (Unless the Moderator(s) ban me till the end of the Next "Mayan long Cycle". That would be terrible as I haven't even learned to ride a Unicycle and I've attended a bunch of Uni's!)
  18. Ah yes and the spring loaded belt tensioner is also shown in those pictures; thanks IronDragon FCW!
  19. I have a friend who, in separate accidents 11 years apart IIRC, cut off his forefingers using a table saw. After the second re-attachment; His wife would not allow him to use a table saw anymore. However she had no problem with him funning a foundry and casting brass! He claims that his forefinger is now an exact number of inches and he can use it for measuring. His friends worry about when he goes metric!
  20. Do they have an online owner's manual? If not suggest that to them when you call.
  21. I should have mentioned which axis: It swivels, or rotates if you prefer that term, so that the vise jaws can be vertical rather than horizontal. Many machinist vises swivel in a horizontal plain but not a vertical one. First picture, swivel lock lever is at the Mount/vise junction. It can also be demounted and used on pipes as previously mentioned.
  22. I've owned a cole vise for over 36 years; but I don't use it as much as my postvises. It's main use is when I need to turn it to hold something at an angle. I've also seen it used as a pipe vise with the "leg" providing a hand hold to rotate a pipe. Now my cole drill I have gotten a lot of use out of---did the drilling on the trusses for my smithy extension---on top of a ladder---no electricity and needed to hand drill 1/2" holes in 3/8" plate...
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