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Everything posted by ThomasPowers

  1. I have a stack of steel chunks suitable for improvised anvils, the local scrapyard had 80# chunks of 4" thick stuff for a while---I tried to pick up the ones with 3" holes drilled in them to lighten them up a bit. Offline till Monday and a small hammering at my shot tomorrow!
  2. Pictures! Especially of the burner in use. Also type of burner, type of regulator, etc. A proper burner running will not produce carbon. However if burning very rich---like using a gas grill regulator instead of a high pressure regulator can cause that. My guess is the burner is not constructed properly and/or the regulator is not correct.
  3. Now we need a sequel named for the melting point for steel so I can remember that off the top of my head too.
  4. Heavy gold plating works really well though platinum metals group plating will be more resistant to wear. I will mention that spurs worn riding along the beach have different requirements than spurs hung on a wall in the high desert.
  5. Spark test the bottom, I'd bet it was cast iron. I think those markings are original as I think that's the original paint job on it. Anyway; probably an ASO and one too small for much smithing work to boot.
  6. Kindling temp for paper is Fahrenheit 451 so I wouldn't worry if the temp is in the 200's degF unless that is the lowest temp.
  7. He just needs to dig a hole to stand in. It would be a good place to store scorpions, centipedes and snakes when not in use.... This fall so far we had a 5' gopher snake dead on the road by our house and I passed a small rattle snake DotR on the way to work today.
  8. Well the use of coal in blacksmithing started in the High to Late Middle Ages according to Gies & Gies in "Cathedral Forge and Waterwheel". Now charcoal continued to be used for smithing even till this day. (The Fisher is a bit out for the 1600's; but at least it has a squatter shape than some of the late 19th century/early 20th century anvils. As a long time, (41 years), member of a historical group and past president of a Living History Group; I would like to encourage you to do it right the first time. Also to avoid "cookie cutter" items (everyone in the group has the exact same copy of *1* extant artifact with no "manufacturing variability". Misleading folks as to what was used is a subtle form of misrepresentation. What area are you trying to recreate? Are you using a bellows powered sideblast forge? (I'd suggest you get a copy of Moxon's "Mechanicks Exercises", the section dealing with smithing, published in 1703 but mainly written in the late 1600's. )
  9. Also remember that "old" doesn't necessarily mean "good". 100+ years ago you could buy an ASO from the Sears Roebuck catalog---as well as a rebranded HB!
  10. Also many places consider you just being in the area of an illegal dump site as evidence that you were illegally dumping. I used to park my truck a distance away and haul stuff to it when I was cleaning up an illegal dumpsite on city property. (Found equivalent interior window moldings for my 100+ year old house that the previous owner had "modernized". Also wooden columns for the front porch instead of the decaying '60's wrought iron ones. MUCH cheaper than the architectural salvage place---AND helping to clean up the city!)
  11. I would bring a folding Camping chair, AKA a "bag Chair"; as well as a book, drink, lunch and just camp out at the item/area I wanted.
  12. I don't know the prices out your way; but around here I would expect US$3 a pound up to $6 a pound.
  13. Note that their "hollow anvils" probably weighed hundreds of pounds more than yours. As sourcing heavy stuff is generally easy; why skimp on something you can do better on?
  14. Seems to me to be looking down its nose at me---must be intelligent!
  15. AND BEWARE OF PAINTED OR PLATED SCRAP! Only takes one Hospital visit to pay for a lifetime supply of new metal! Last night I noticed the Blacksmith Depot catalog had 2' long stock in round and square in a variety of sizes; but again it cost more than a tentstake I'd make from it would sell for...
  16. Well lets see: 17th century ==1600s so a lot of stuff like spoons would be pewter for the lower socioeconomic folks and silver for the upper. Knives would be either a plain carbon steel blade; or for the upper end silver again for non cutting ones. There were also "fruit knives that had a silver blade as fruit acids don't react well with plain carbon steels. Note that these steels would be real wrought iron based as not even Huntsman's cast steel would be around then and "mild steel" was still up to 200 years in the future. If you are working with a historical group they should know the good documentation for that area/period and you can pattern off of extant examples.
  17. I'll have to check into a Territorial directory; your city directory was a good laugh! in 1880 Socorro had about 1200 people and Polvadera was probably a hamlet. It's on the old Camino Real and he probably served folks travelling there. 1870 was only 7 years after Arizona was split off of the New Mexico Territory...New Mexico originally went from Texas to California as did Socorro County IIRC.
  18. I ran across this recently, 1870 census data! CENSUS YR: 1870 STATE or TERRITORY: NM COUNTY: Socorro DIVISION: Pct 3, Polvadera REEL NO: M593-896 PAGE NO: 480b REFERENCE: Enumerated on Aug 16, 1870 by J. M. Shaw. Hand-written Page #12 =================================================================================================================================================================================================== LN HN FN LAST NAME FIRST NAME AGE SEX RACE OCCUP. REAL VAL. PERS VAL. BIRTHPLACE FOREIGN BIRTH MONTH MONTH ATT. CAN'T CAN'T DEAF M-21yrs VOTE- REMARKS FATHER MOTHER BORN MARR. SCHOOL READ WRITE DENIED =================================================================================================================================================================================================== 5 91 83 Williamson David 32 M W Blacksmith . . Missouri . . . . . . . . X . . Now to track down his shop and see if anything's hiding in the dirt... There was another entry for a fellow listed as 105 years old with occupation "Object of Charity"
  19. Slag;just how large a crack did you have in yourself that they used that method to close it?
  20. Well the face is not 2"; that's just a casting thing they did. What you really need to know is the results of the ring and rebound tests. May have to unclamp it to get a good ring result though. If it passes those tests it's a good anvil no matter who made it or when. If it fails those tests then it's not a good anvil no matter who made it or when it was made. (Anvils can go through structure fires and lose their heat treat which can be expensive and tricky to have re-done.) That is; if you are buying it to use!
  21. I'd worry more about the horn falling off as the steel is the tough part. I didn't see anything on the face that needed cleaning, of course I only have close to 4 decades of smithing experience; but it's your anvil you can do what you want with it.
  22. Another way to "budget" for such a sale is to keep little projects around to work on when a major project is heating/cooling/etc. I like to have at least two projects in the forge; an important one and a less important one. However over a year the pile of "trinkets" builds up for the sale and you don't feel like you have just done production work for a week to get ready.
  23. Most groups I've been associated with will let you attend meetings a couple of times before paying to join. It can be a big help seeing other smith's set ups and finding out what you like/dislike about them before you build your own. Some groups even have forges available for folks to use after meetings. Helps to avoid the "I don't know anything about this; so I designed a new and improved way to do it and it doesn't work right, y'all need to fix it for me!" (And Yes, we do seem to get a number of such posts here over time...)
  24. Well the underside of the heel may identify an Arm & Hammer. They tended to leave the steam hammer impressions undressed so if its smoothly undulating it would most likely be A&H.