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I Forge Iron

ThomasPowers

2021 Donor
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Everything posted by ThomasPowers

  1. I pick up "farmer tongs" when they are cheap, (US$5 or below); just for modifying into ones I can use for a project.
  2. I mounted the first of my dragon headed coat hooks last night. I Hope to do the rest if I can buy more screws the right length at lunch. Oak that's been drying for decades in the NM clime works a lot like metal when it comes to drilling and putting in screws!
  3. One thing with a screw/fly press is that there is a spike in pressure as the ram bottoms out and reverses. Why they are good for coining. The rate the pressure increases makes a difference when forming metal.
  4. What did the grain structure look like when you broke it after hardening? By "old" are we talking about over 100 years or over 20 years? Where in Europe did they come from? Spain, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Italy, Rumania, Switzerland?
  5. By strongest; do you mean notch sensitivity, yield strength, hardness, etc---and under what circumstances, STP, space, corrosive environments. Currently your question is like "what's the best vehicle to buy?" without telling us if it should be able to haul 16 people or 16 tons of gravel or cross open water or go into space.
  6. Basket? Large electromagnet on a crane and a turbo charged dumptruck!
  7. Sort of depends on how the old anvil was made and how much, how intense the cold forging would be. You do see old anvils with missing horns and I have a Vulcan that had the horn broken off when a student was setting a rivet cold, (Gift from the Fine Arts Instructor when I replaced the very abused Vulcan with a mint Swedish cast steel one.)
  8. I've had root canals that were more pleasant than doing business with the Socorro Electric CoOp has been!
  9. Finally got my call answered! The estimate that was promised to be done Monday or Tuesday of last week is finally done and will be emailed to me *today*! Well that is what they "promise". I wonder if it is within the cost of the previous one that I prepaid and they have been sitting on the money for months now? I wonder if that money has been earning interest in the meantime? I wonder what happens if the new one is out of my budget and I ask for my money *back*? We still have the final payment to our electrician to make; it was supposed to be paid on the successful completion and inspection of the job. He did his part months ago and I know he has to file his taxes quarterly and is expecting this payment to help cover that.
  10. I'd think about larger air handling pipes, you need to push more air in without having it too strong a blast. (More volume, less pressure.) If there is O2 going through the fuel then the fuel will burn!
  11. BsnNFrnt; just think of me as being "Santa's evil twin Skippy". Out here when the gas pipes corrode you often find extras like there is no foundation they just laid adobe on the ground when they built an addition. My house was built by a builder for himself and so we don't have that issue. Of course when we moved in it we didn't have any gas either. My wife likes gas stoves and so we bought one set up for propane and I installed a gas line to the exterior of the house where we have a tank. I did the plumbing and my wife was surprised when they tested it and told her I had done an excellent job! I also got to convert the replacement stove to propane when she decided to go to a new stove and not the 60+ year old stove she first bought. No Natural Gas out here in rural NM. It's interesting but the soil out here is quite corrosive. Steel in the open air lasts over a century; but bury it and it will get eaten away in a decade or two.
  12. Now it they are in a country where smiths work squatting or sitting on the ground then it would devolve to only 1 issue!
  13. That stand will let the drool flow away from that anvil. You could always weld a front leg on and remove the two on either side of it.
  14. My wife has started talking about braiding mine again, says it's tickling her face when I cuddle with her. I'd like to grow it out more for Christmas but she controls the scissors...
  15. One positive thing about being an aging smith---my students are trying to make sure I don't overdo things and so try to do the loading and unloading and moving heavy stuff for me. (You have 1 insulin crash and ER visit and folks start treating you like you're feeble and frail---I should have had one *years* ago!)
  16. That is a question that depends on YOU, what YOU do and how YOU do it and what YOUR finances are like.
  17. Another trick is to always buy an extra piece if you are buying steel for a specific project. That way when you mess up one you can finish the project without another trip to the steel store. It also slowly stocks your steel supply for smaller projects that may not be worth a trip to the store---about 60 miles to the closest commercial dealer for me if the Windmill supply doesn't have what I need and I don't want to wait for an order.
  18. We have had so much rain this year that the "desert" is overgrown and my wife is looking into a brush mower. She didn't like my suggestion to wait till it dies in the fall and then just burn it off in sections...
  19. "Do you really have a cat named “Damascus”? Or do you just call her that, even though her real name is “Pattern-Welded”?" Wootz it to you John? Our Daughter the Vet has been bugging us about getting the local feral cats spayed. (More expensive than neutering the toms; but more effective as it only takes 1 tom to father a lot of litters; but every female spayed is end of the line!) I expect a lot of the cats running around outside here end up as roadkill, coyote fast food or hawk bait.
  20. Adjusting shoes cold on the anvil face will generally show after a while with edge damage on BOTH sides, rather than the more typical off side damage of general smithing.
  21. An "American Tanto" as that design was not very common in Japan historically. (I blame Cold Steel for it becoming the norm over here!)
  22. I picked up a set of tempering tongs used to draw the temper of the spine. Tongs with a cross bar welded to each bit. To use you heat the cross bars in the forge and then "grab" the spine of the hardened blade and so soak the heat in from the spine. Some folks also just heat a slab of steel and set the spine of the blade on that. Keeping an eye on it so you don't over temper the edge is important. Differential hardening and differential tempering are a couple of techniques that can help make handmade blades better than commercial ones.
  23. Saturday I took way to much stuff up to a nice picnic area in the mountains for an SCA metal workers guild hammer in. Poor little 4 cylinder pickup with 4 anvils + stumps, 3 propane tanks, (Fire rules allowed propane forges only.) Tools, propane forge, etc. Springs were not bending the wrong way; but it was getting close. Left at 06:30 for the 1.5 hour drive. Sure was nice and cool and conifer scented. Event ran from 8am to 4pm and then I loaded and drove back home and unloaded some as it looked like rain. I was more than a little tired that night! Sunday I unloaded the rest and then we went to Albuquerque to see our Daughter and her kids---still camping out in their house waiting for their belongings to be shipped in from Okinawa. Monday I took it easy and unpacked the tools I had taken to the hammer in, re-hafted a hammer and did some reading.
  24. Was that $200 Canadian dollars or $200 Australian dollars? World Wide Web you know! If you are in the USA look for classes being run by the Small Business Administration on Business. How are your drawing and drafting skills? How are your sales skills? If you are in the USA how will you provide for your health insurance? Start your log book! Record what you do and how long it took and what it cost for materials---helps you keep track of things and see how you are progressing.
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