dave in pa.

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About dave in pa.

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    Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

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  1. slanwar, There are closer places with better coal. One in Quarryville and one in Willow Street. PM me if you need directions. Dave
  2. This is how I light my fire... Roll 2 sheets of newspaper into a doughnut. Poke a hole in the middle. Light the center and place in firepot. Add kindling to make a nice little campfire. Slowly add coal or coke around the edges of the paper, keeping a chimney/volcano in the center. Only a little air is needed, too much will cool and/or blow out your fire. When coal/coke starts burning, add more on top and add air to get your forge fire ready. In the blacksmith circles that I move in... all types of lighter fluid and gas torches are a no no. We take pride in starting our fire with only 1 match (or flint and steel). Don't let anyone see it if you have to go for a second match. They will not let you forget it and you will hear about it all day. Here to help, Dave
  3. Take a look at agricultural disc blades. They come in many diameters, thicknesses, dish heights, and center hole dimensions. And a lot cheaper than cooking woks.
  4. On a related note... Not long ago, I took my family to a public event where re-enactors demonstrate to and educate visitors (with a high admission ticket price). We watched a 1/2 hour blacksmith show where the demonstrator, several times, told everyone that the gray stuff coming off of the hot metal is excess carbon that the fire (gas forge) imparts onto the steel (rebar). This was just one of many untruths that he passed out. My head nearly exploded as I watched the young teen boys in the front row hang on every word that this dimwit spewed. One should educate themselves before they attempt to educate others.
  5. https://hansherr.org/mec-calendar/blacksmith-days/?occurrence=2019-06-29 Come out and say "Hi" this Saturday (29 June) at the Hans Herr House Blacksmith Day event. We'll have several coal forges going and waiting to be used. Thanks, Dave
  6. I teach at a couple of shops (under their insurance) and a couple of locations with my portable equipment in addition to doing demos at several locations. To cover me in any event at any location, I got a 2 million dollar liability policy. Piece of mind for $375 a year.
  7. Thanks for the replies. I don't/won't do anything sharp and pointy. I'll keep working on ideas. Thanks, Dave
  8. Hi all, I have several thousand cut nails (2 1/2 inch long flooring nails) that I use for hands-on demonstrating. I have done the twisted nail and loop on a keychain, the twisted fairy spoon on a keychain, the finger ring, and the small hook with hole. What are some other forging ideas for these nails? I need projects that can be finished within a 10 minute time frame per individual. And I'm looking to give the participants more choices in projects Thanks, Dave
  9. Thank you dave for your post in hobby or part time business. i am just starting my journey in blacksmithing and live in PA. i wanted to sell some of my stuff on etsy. your post was a huge help. thank you

  10. Hey all, Can anyone tell me anything about the champion no. 60 a aluminum blower? The dad of one of my students just gave me one and I can't find any info on them. Pic is from the web but looks the same as what I have. Any info would be appreciated. Thanks, Dave
  11. Here is what I did... Talked to several of my smithing friends who sell their wares to see what they do. Most just wait until they get caught to do anything. I have to believe that if anyone gets caught it will be me (and I can't afford it). Went to H&R Block and found that the federal tax system (and my home state of Pennsylvania) have a form called Schedule C. This puts anything that you make in the category of personal income and you pay taxes at whatever rate you are already at. It also allows you to deduct for tools, materials, mileage, shop rent, table rent, insurance, taxes, and any related expenses. In Pennsylvania... I don't need a business license or a tax number (but my apps are in and being processed now). YMMV so talk to a professional about it and ask about Schedule C. Hope it helps someone, Dave
  12. Aubrey, I would move up to a 3/4 or 1 inch pipe. Then, find a way to control the air blast as was said above.
  13. Aubrey, I'm here to help as much as I can. Ask away! Dave
  14. I have used corn as forging fuel many, many times in several different forge set-ups. For one event at a historical site's harvest show I started Saturday morning by cleaning all coal and coke from the hearth and then forged all that day and the following day on nothing but corn. It was certainly a crowd gatherer. Good points... it burns hot and clean, no clinker from the fuel itself. it needs very little air so it's more energy efficient and easier on the smith. around here it is cheaper than coal and gives me the same heat. the smell of a big corn roast will let you forge places where the smell of coal will get complaints and possibly shut down. Bad points... fire management is a little different than with coal/coke but is easy to get used to (and I think is a good thing to practice). vermin will eat your fuel supply if you don't secure it well. (I once watched a groundhog push the lid off of a galvanized trash can and then help himself to many helpings of my corn, not a problem encountered with coal) Some of my experience with corn... First let me say that I have only used corn in bottom blast forges (clinker breaker type, raised cap type, and flat plate type) with crank blowers or bellows. if you use an electric blower you will need to be able to throttle it down a lot. I have found that shallower boxes (3 inches deep) work better than deeper ones (5 inches deep or more). I use feed corn from the local feed store. I have never worried about the moisture content and have not noticed any difference in the burning of the corn. Start you fire with paper and wood. Slowly add corn around the edges, too much too soon will give you massive amounts of smoke/steam that will drive you out of your shop. It will "coke" and cap over just as a soft coal fire does. work as usual but keep an eye on your workpiece as the fire is much hotter than you think. you will find that the fire requires very little air as apposed to coal. too much air will fling your kernels out of the firepot. as you work you will need to bring fuel into the fire more often than coal. as you bring more in add more fresh corn around the sides and back of the fire (I add a soup can full of fresh corn at a time). this will "coke" and be ready when you need it. you may find yourself managing your fire more often than you would with coal but I find this good practice especially for new smiths. when done for the day, rake the fire out of the pot and let it go out. The corn coke will be ready for your next fire just as coal coke would. don't leave the corn piled up in the box and think you'll have fuel the next day, it will burn completely. That's all that I can think of at the time. I"ll try to help with any questions, Dave
  15. I think the determining factor is... where you're selling your work. Playing to different locations, venues, and targeted customers will decide for you.