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About Michael

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    Senior Member

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  • 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

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  1. Michael

    Christmas items 2018

    The lovely wife got me new boots!
  2. This is brilliant! Gonna work up a few rebar openers this weekend.
  3. Michael

    What did you do in the shop today?

    Knocked out a pair of holdfasts for a woodworking gift exchange this holiday season. 5/8 stock (hard to find unplated 3/4 stock locally) Good square corner practice.
  4. Michael

    Frosty's T Burner-connecting to propane tank

    Thanks for this detail Frosty, when I put my gas forge together, 5? 6 years ago, a helpful hardware store employee swaged a water specific quick connect on the end of my propane hose. It has worked like a charm for all this while but the propane hose is getting a bit stiff in its old age and I doubt I can convince anyone to fab up a replacement. Great old hardware store, since closed. The going out of business sale was epic! Drawers of soft iron rivets from the 1930's followed me home, along with Yankee screwdriver bits by the bag and more soapstone holders than I've been able to give away to fellow smiths. I'll start looking for copper flare tools and tubing at garage sales.
  5. Michael

    What did you do in the shop today?

    Spent the usual Black Friday at the forge. Gratefully raining in the Bay Area, so dodging drips in front of the gas forge till the propane ran out. Made a couple of hooks, paw/leash for dog people, big hook from a big nail for a co worker. Found a space for the dragon, on top of the case forge (he was going to be a gate handle but he "bites" a little too much for that) The coal forge is under a leaky section of roof and I have concerns about rain water and coal ash destroying my firepot, so it stays covered in the rain till I can fix the roof/chimney junction.
  6. Michael

    Show me things that move

    Made this half a dozen years ago, as a prototype for a metal version. Mounted on the roof of my smithy. Made out of teak it has weathered the winters well and hasn't fallen apart yet. I have the patterns still for the likely sheet copper and steel version. Next one may have smith and striker. smithgig
  7. Michael

    How much fuel is too much fuel

    when I was using charcoal I'd go thru a 5 gallon bucket every 2 hours or so. If I recall correctly that was about 8 lbs of charcoal, more or less, so another hour for 10 seems reasonable within my own experience. I did find I went through a LOT more water, damping down the fire and keeping it from spreading, working charcoal. Easily half of my 4 gallon quench bucket would be gone after 2 hours. My forge was bottom blown, don't know if that makes any difference. The difference switching to coal/coke was astounding! See how small a fire you can still work effectively in. I walk away from a charcoal fire and come back in 5 minutes to find the whole pile of fuel burning.
  8. Michael

    What did you do in the shop today?

    Lit the coal forge in the suburbs last week, hammered out some legs and feet on a figurative sculpture, some flower finials that will be come hooks for the lovely wife's trivet collection, and finally got 200 lbs of coal out of those UV degradable bags and into a bin before they became a spontaneous pile of coal.
  9. Michael

    What did you do in the shop today?

    I leveled my anvil stump(LiveOak) with a router, and routed 3 "feet" at roughly 60 degrees around the base of the stump, a little less than an inch deep so there's a tripod-y sort of base to the stump. then I set each "foot" into an empty tuna can with a bit of polyurethane in it and left it for a few days to wick the poly into the end grain. Flipped the stump over to let the poly dry and painted the last of the poly over the end grain between the "feet". Stays pretty stable on the uneven concrete of the smithy and no rot from the leaky patio roof.
  10. Michael

    What did you do in the shop today?

    There was a demo of this Seahorse form at a Hammer In in Santa Cruz two weeks ago. the one on the left was done at the site, the hot one this past Saturday at home when I should have been painting the house. 5 inches of 5/8 square to start, there's also a 3/4 square one I started. The demonstrator was doing a big version this past weekend in 2 1/2 inch stock with a power hammer and team strikers
  11. Michael

    Show me your shop!

    Corner of the Patio, forge, blower, tool rack and 104 lb PW, Pair of leg vises on a stand. May have posted this before but I don't see it on the thread
  12. Michael

    Brian Brazeal classes?

    Brian and his brother are in Africa (Kissii in SW Kenya that last time I heard) teaching for the foreseeable future. He talked about this at the last CBA event I saw him at. Lyle Wynn has taken up the mantle of Brian's style of teaching, and if you in California, John Williams of Guildwerks has a modified version of Brian's classes. I took a Brian hammer class in Templeton CA back in 2014. He frequently points out 'you know a 12 year old could do that in a 2 heats!', specifically referencing the Young Smiths that included Alec Steele
  13. Michael

    Tool bag/box

    One guy I know, he demonstrates at a restored railroad, has the smallest tool bag you can imagine. A round leather satchel just big enough to hold two hammers, 3 pair of tongs and a couple of punches and chisels. Said he got tired of the ever growing lug fest of a tool box and this forces him to bring a minimal kit.
  14. Michael

    Tool bag/box

    Tool boxes and bags for blacksmithing tools always fill to capacity, and when you switch to larger they get too heavy to move very far. do you wear an apron, an apron pocket for the soapstone and calipers, with the apron wrapped around them in the tool bag might work.
  15. Michael

    What did you do in the shop today?

    Thanks for the tip, that vid was the tail end of the sledge work, when things went a little parallelogram and I switched to the hand hammer to correct before taking another heat. I worked too cold for years of self taught fumbling before meeting other smiths who set me right. 12 lb sledge is a straight peen(6 lb in the vid), won’t even think about one handing that hammer EC0F43B0-9F71-4839-9329-CE7DE309CE67.mp4