a62rambler

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About a62rambler

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    Senior Member

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Paducah, KY
  • Interests
    Shooting, Gunsmithing, Blacksmithing, Reading, and just tinkering with things in general

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  1. I'm scheduled Friday and Saturday evenings so I can't make it. I'll be there in spirit. Have some laughs and pound some steel and know that I appreciate the invite.
  2. I haven't been doing too much forging due to time, money, and temperature constraints(100 degree days are tough temps for forging). I finally got some corn to try since I've only used wood thus far. Corn is a huge improvement and much hotter. Thanks to Phil for his post and advice that got me to try corn. Anyway, my brother asked me to make him a couple screwdrivers and a vent pick for his flintlock. I made these from a Chinese cold punch that failed while hot punching a pair of tongs, a piece of an 18" long chisel/breaker bar and the pick is part of a bicycle kick stand. Need some advice. Should I try to heat treat the screwdrivers or will just the hardness of the tool steel be enough? They're mystery high carbon steel and I wouldn't think they really need to be too much harder for screwdrivers. At this point they are tough to file just from air hardening. They still need final fitting and filing to fit the screw heads. Advice and critiques welcome since I'm still in the basic learning stage. I really am enjoying this and couldn't be happier with my anvil!
  3. I tried to post what I need to learn but I guess there's a character limit to the length of post. ;) At this point I haven't learned enough to know what I need to learn.
  4. I was hoping to make it there but it looks like I will be working that weekend. I might drive up on Friday since it's only a couple hours away. I sure would love to learn a bunch which wouldn't be too hard since I know so little.
  5. Muhlenberg county coal is bituminous. It tends toward the lower btu range of bituminous and is considered high sulfur coal. It has to be mixed with western sub bituminous coal to be used in power generation due to the low btu and high sulfur nature. Not exactly blacksmithing coal but if you can deal with the sulfur, the price is certainly right.
  6. Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, IL has a Blacksmith Degree program. You might consider that program. I second the military suggestion as it gives both training/experience and has education benefits during and after service. You have to do what is right for you though. Only you know what best suits you! I did both military and college. I've never regretted getting my degree but I think I'd have been happier if I'd gone to a trade school instead of college and I would have saved myself a lot of money.
  7. BM454, Believe me I would have "settled" for a HB but in this area the hoarders have them all and priced as high or higher than I payed for this. I hadn't even thought about dressing the hardy or pritchel! Thanks! I'm trying to decide if I need to leave any of the edges sharp. With the double horn and sideshelf I have more edges than I know what to do with, literally! I feel like I need a class in how to use all the angles edges and features. I guess I'll learn from using it! I'll definetly take a piece of mild to lay on top. The chisel mark you can see but barely even feel so I got lucky and learned my lesson, I hope! The ring isn't bad at all and I probably won't do anything about it except maybe a magnet under the horn. The face has little ring after tying it down with chain but the horn could get annoying. I'll see if my mount does anything for the horn ring. I doubt it will and that's why I think a magnet will come in handy. I'm as excited as a kid getting a new toy over this anvil. I've got Randy's book in one hand and I'm trying to figure out how to hold it and a pair of tongs so I can hammer with the other while reading it again. :o
  8. After two years of hunting to no avail. I ordered a new anvil two months ago. I finally got it today. You know 200 lbs of anvil underneath the steel is better than a 3/8" x 6" piece of WI under the steel. So far I really like it but I don't have much with which to compare it. I let a chisel slip once and manage to put a little ding in the face but none of my errant hammer blows have even left a mark so I think it is hard enough. It rings but not much worse than my mild steel and then WI pieces I was using. I haven't finished anchoring it down as I have been working on making a bracket for it. Well that and just playing around on it all day. :D I'm impressed but then considering what I've been using that doesn't really say much I guess. :o
  9. Unfortunately, in my area $4 a pound is common and I've had several priced between $7-8 a pound. When I pointed out that top quality new anvils went for that price they were unfazed. I guess in my area P. T. Barnum was correct. :(
  10. Thanks Fiery, I'll look him up. I'm actually in the process of getting an anvil. I'll find out this week if it's going to happen for sure or if I have to go to plan B. I've got a local ferrier supply store that is supposed to order a 200 lb Smithy Special with his annual order so I don't have to pay shipping and he gave me a good price. If that falls through it's back to searching as I've done for now two years. I'd like to make a road trip one of these days and get up your way. I can't get directions from the State Highway department since they don't know where Paducah or Columbia is since it isn't Frankfort, Lexington or Louisville. :o
  11. Broke down and used a Wilton vise as anvil today. Amazing how much more metal I can move with something that resists the hammer better. That is until I broke the swivel. I spent the rest of my forging time welding my vise base back together. It worked and we'll see how long until I break something else on the vise. I'm close to getting my anvil and then I'll have some things to post.
  12. Yes, I switch polarity but find the gas shielding is much easier. I did a little welding today and actually got some nice beads with the flux core. I think maybe practice but most likely a welding course would help. Sorry for the sidetrack and the delay.
  13. a62rambler

    My First Tongs

    Wow, the bar is raised with these! Great tongs and what a challenge for a first pair. I could use a pair of those and I don't think I'm up to the challenge of making them so if you feel like making another pair? ;)
  14. I bought a Lincoln HD3200 110v Mig. I'm no welder and pictures prove it. I know with solid wire and Argon it makes me look like a good welder. With flux core I have to work just to get welds that doen't require more time grinding than it's worth. It's great when I need to weld light stuff but 1/4" is a stretch for this welder and anything beyond is out of the question. I want to get a 3 in 1 next but that won't happen anytime soon. A small mig would handle the tubing but forget about anything larger than 1/4". It is easy to use with Argon or Argon mix. I had never welded before getting this welder. If I had it to do over again I think I would have gotten the stick welder instead.