• Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About Michael

  • Rank
    Senior Member

Contact Methods

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
  • Interests
    Old Tools, woodworking, blacksmithing (of course!), poker, cycling, Top Gear, The Woodwright's Shop, books, my lovely wife, my above average kid etc, not necessarily in that (or any other) order.


  • Location
    San Francisco
  • Interests
    Antique hand tools, smithing
  • Occupation

Recent Profile Visitors

10,178 profile views
  1. Sounds like a wonderful gift! Your FIL will be thrilled I'm sure. Not many precision surfaces on blacksmithing gear, the vise jaws will NOT be paralel, anvils are not flat references surfaces. The vise was likely pieced together from wrought iron by a highly skilled team of workers going for a rough size based on experience, and it was weighed after finishing and sold by the pound. Nice chamfers on that vise.
  2. Speaking of leaks, what I did in the shop was miss the 'dragon poop" bucket after pulling out a big clinker from the fire, dropped in in the metal slack bucket by mistake. 'OK, fine, it can cool off in there and I'll fish it out in a minute". in a minute I see the slow spread of water around the slack bucket, that clinker held enough heat to burn a few pinholes in the bottom. I liked that slack, oval mop bucket. Hunting for a new one.
  3. I asked the shop foreman, the architect of this project what the fly press tonnage was and he wasn't sure, thought it 'might be an 8?' and thought the flywheel might be part of the calculation of the tonnage. Fly presses are not that common on the Left Coast of the USA. Here's the wheel laid out next to its press, still needs to be welded up, and should be about 200 lbs when its done should have measured it across but I think its a little over 2 feet in diameter. Flypress still needs a sturdy stand built for it. The tapered octagonal hole was punched and drifted to fit the tapered stub on the top of the press screw.
  4. It's hard to sneak smithery into an office environment! I make these little cubicle hooks (on the right) that fit over the top of the little maze walls at work, which are thankfully the same thickness as a standard 2x4! Hook on the left a dog paw hook for the pooches leash. Made a LOT of these once all the dog people saw them.
  5. Not in MY shop, but at the industrial arts non profit where I volunteer once a week, bent up some 2 inch square that had been octagon'd on the Nazel. Backstory, the teaching arm of the shop has run into issues of smaller people, kids, etc having problems either swinging a big enough hammer or being strong enough to control stock under the power hammer (a Nazel, and couple of Anyang's and a 100 lb LG). The solution, Fly Presses! The shop foreman got a deal on 3 of fly presses as they are missing the top bar and weights. Rather than reconstruct the OEM head knockers, the plan is to fabricate flywheels to mount on the top of the screw. We punched and drifted the octagonal socket in the middle cross bar and last night bent 4 sections of the outer rim of the first flywheel on a 50 ton "air over hydraulic" Dake Press. I was mostly hauling the sections out of the forge and holding the tongs as the foreman ran the press and I moved the stock across the bending block. The parts will all be welded up into the flywheel that will weigh about 200 pounds and the chain hoist and jib crane will lift it onto the top of the screw, once the stands for the presses are built and bolted down. This was the fun volunteer part after a couple hours busting up coke for this weekends forgewelding class.
  6. Nice, Bracket an everything! Didn't do the back seat any worse I see. Good get!
  7. I've been really happy with my little Horror Fright flux core welder that runs off of 110. Also not a welder but with the occasional need to lay down a bead. Works great for up to 1/4 inch steel and I've only once bumped up against the duty cycle. and at less than $100 delivered it's proven its worth
  8. Finished up a firepit poker for a dear old friend who moved to a place you can have a firepit! 5/8 stock to start, tapered on an Anyang at an industrial space I volunteer at. Incised twist for the handle, way too many cold shuts in the first hook so cut off, drill and drift for a hang hole. cheated some and sawed the split for the working end of the poker, after the hook errors on the other end. Left a bit of the Octagon to round section square for a final twist, to line up the tines with the hang hole it lays flat when hung. Just under 3 feet long. a lot less clunky than the verision I made for the house fireplace (on the right) about a decade ago.
  9. That's very well done! Love the little wings! That dragon twist is a lot of fun. Next one I'll use a narrow jawed crescent wrench rather than the huge Coe's monkey wrench that is my go to twisting tool.
  10. This weekend (birthday weekend!) played with the new anvil after setting it up and then finished the Hammer In Demo project taught by Logan Hirsch and Andy Dohner, skulls out of 2 inch square. Reforged a small cold chisel into a punch to make the nose slits, used a butcher to push the teeth round under the skull and cut the teeth. Logan was saying these techniques work down as small as 1.25 inch square and he usually does skulls like this in 3 inch material.
  11. My wife asked if I was going to get rid of the smaller one? I was honestly dumbfounded!, why in the world would I get RID of an anvil, they are not that easy to find! Ended up just filling in the routed depression in the stump with a scrap of 1/2 plywood, held down with liquid nails and mounted the new anvil on top of it. Couldn't find a pulley and the rope was all in the lovely wife's car so I ran a comealong up the the rafter and lifted it that way, not ideal and I"m in the (flea) market now for a small chain hoist. Spent both afternoons of the weekend hammering away. The extra mass is nice, the unchipped far edge is nicer and having both close to hand is nicest of all!
  12. I won't have a chance to play with this new toy till tomorrow, but the plan is to re route the cutout that fits my 104 PW in the live oak stump to fit the slightly larger base of the 161PW and then use it a bit! New anvil is about an inch taller so it might be too high. I could fab a new stand but I'd rather forge now and fabricate later. Always been a fan of wooden anvil stands, but the scrap pile might have enough stock to fab up a tripod stand from square tube and plate.
  13. I just got a deal (by Left Coast standards anyway) on my second anvil! I was getting ready to take the dogs to the park, my phone was close to dead so I sat down to let it charge a bit before heading out. Saw the craigslist ad for a 161 pound Peter Wright, (my current anvil is a 104 lb PW), fired off an email and then, reading the listing more carefully, actually texted the guy as per the instructions, 'is this still availabe?' text fires right back 'yes it is'. Check the traffic and its 30 minutes south of me (San Francisco Bay Area) Hop in the car, text the guy I'll be there soon and hit zero traffic on a Sunday afternoon! Kismet! He's got it loaded on a handtruck already, the cash flew out of my wallet so fast it may have broken the sound barrier! No traffic on the way home either (almost unheard of). A bit heavy to lift by myself, but the pre 1910 (no Patent England) PW loaded into a wheelbarrow and then to the grass outside the smithy, where I could get a hand truck under it. The dogs were really excited when I got back, having seen the 'get ready for a walk' posture before I ran off to buy my 2nd anvil. Been looking for a 150-175 lb anvil for a while now. A double horned German or French Pig anvil would be ideal, but I've been smiling about this 2nd Peter Wright for 3 days now!
  14. Here's mine, rolling metal base with wooden upper bits, made before I had a welder. It'll be rebuilt with metal and welds if it ever falls apart
  15. I have a friend who maintains and repairs industrial lasers. He has a stack of stickers in his toolbox that say 'Do NOT look at laser with Remaining eye". The maintenance clients get fresh stickers every year.