dognose

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About dognose

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  1. I just purchased an off brand platen table with 1 1/2" holes and was wondering if anyone has some ideas for clamping? There seem to be plenty of clamps for the Acorn style 1 3/4" but have yet to come across ones to fit mine. Any pics would be appreciated if you fabricated your own. So far, the quickest solution I could come up with is using the "Pony" style pipe clamps or forging the hammer in hold down types. Thanks in advance.
  2. If you ever decide to put a set up for sale, even a single piece, I'd love to own one. MAGIC! Beautiful how the knight is set apart from the rest of the pieces with that wonderful curve, and the usually passive looking pawn seems a force to reckoned with.
  3. Thanks for sharing that Paul. Do you think because of it's age, all the scrolls were forged by hand? I'm used to seeing that sort of of scroll work in today's "iron work", but now it's mostly done with bending devices. They're so uniform and symmetrical, even after all this time. One side is like a mirror image of the other. On a side note, how did you isolate the image of the cross from the background, and are you able to post a pic of it in it's current location with the background included? Thanks again.
  4. Steve, that's a tough one. Not that you should in any way feel guilty, but I see what you mean. What was the cause of your neighbor's fire if you don't mind me asking? Were there any hard feelings? I'm guessing now every time you fire up the forge, there's a little thought in the back of your head. Bummer.
  5. My shop is "complete" except for a swage block. I wonder why they are important and how often they are used. Are they one of those tools that when you need one there's no subsitute or are they are they a throw back to years past. Some of the edge forms I can make sense of, others, imparticular, all the slotted squares and rectangles in the center make no sense at all to me. Seems that everything I make fits into my anvil's hardie hole. When would these come of use? could someone give me an introductory course in the use of a swage block? I feel naked without one but am unsure as to why?
  6. I'll give you five bucks for that ball. I lost one of mine in a bicycling accident. Hope that didn't offend, I couldn't resist.
  7. Karn3, nice work, well done. May I ask why the rails were mounted to the existing woodwork? It's not a cut on your work, but I think your work (the handrail) would have looked nicer without the wood behind it. It detracts from the metal. Maybe the wood could be painted to match the wall so the bulky, blackness of it doesn't overpower your rail. How big of a footing did you dig for the stair rails and what sort of finish did you apply? Thanks for sharing.
  8. I like Franks's response. Mostly because he sort of agrees with me. I am not arguing the death of blacksmithing, simply bringing up a "new" technology and what that technology will mean in relationship to the craft. I still think several responses seem short sided. Just because they (printers) can't do something today, or cheaply or efficiently as a smith can, doesn't mean in 20 years that they won't. Or that the alloy mixture they extrude will not be 10x stronger than mild steel. Police wear kevlar vests, not metal. Carbon fibre has replaced metal and wood in many applications where strength and weight are critical. Like Frank said, I think the craft will continue to survive regardless, but for different reasons than it does today or in the past. I think this will be my last response to this thread as many continue to bring up current day arguments. The title of the post was "The future of blacksmithing".
  9. Thanks for that video clip. That's along the lines of what I was thinking. We are all using devices today that would have been unimaginable not that long ago, to say anything is too far off, or not in my lifetime is I think off the mark. They're growing human ears on the backs of mice! Self driving cars next year. While not wealthy myself, I rent a dump in a one of the most expensive cities in the world. 50% of the homes here are behind gates. Although many are "wrought iron", with scrolls and leaf work abound, not a lick of them has a hand forged piece to be found. 99 out of 100 people don't know the difference and don't care. They just want the wealthy look. I think, as Francis mentioned, that blacksmithing is growing not as a result of necessity, but as a way for people to re-connect with the past, something real. I would guess that very few of us on this site actually break even finacially. It's a labor of love. Here is a quote from one of Yellin's contemporaries from 1918 "It is an unfortunate fact that the real nature of craftsmanship, the use of materials in a way appropriate to their nature, for ends to which they were well adapted, is little understood today, not because there is any dearth of information on the subject, but because the perfection of the mechanical means of production at our disposal has blinded us to the simplicity of the means which produced the great works of art of the past, and had led us to admire tricks of legerdemain, and illusions, by which one thing is made to look like another, and materials are loosed from there proper sphere to be discovered again in another, and foreign one. To add to his difficulty, the craftsman is constantly asked to slur over that which is deemed unimportant, or will not show, and is urged to make his work as cheap, yet as showy, as possible. Against this tendency, Samuel Yellin has steadfastly set his face".
  10. I'm aware that this hasn't been the first time this subject has been brought up on this forum, but there hasn't been too much discussion on it. The "it" I'm referring to is 3D printers. I was watching a show recently where a small business was started creating desserts using 3D, sugar based printers. The time when metal printers are commonplace is not too far off in the future. I'm wondering what that will mean for blacksmiths that are making a living from forging? I know that most of us here on this site do it because we enjoy the process, actually making something, not just entering data into a computer. Seems like the industrial era put a serious dent in the craft, but still, making and casting molds was and is expensive. One of a kind, handmade items are still sought after. Now, it appears as though we're on the brink of not being able to distinguish the difference between the two. I wonder if human made objects will continue to be held in high regard, or that will slowly disappear. I know most of us could care less and will continue to hammer away, and that some will embrace the new technology and unimaginable designs will come about. Any thoughts?
  11. Francis, thanks. That's the sort of response I was looking for. I want to be a good neighbor, but blacksmithing is not a hobby that many people practice. At least not per capita. Most people think I'm a farrier when I say Blacksmith.
  12. My wife and I are just about to pull the trigger on buying a new (old) house. Where we live now is near a highway so most of the time I'm pretty safe with banging away without complaint from the neighbors as the sound from passing cars drowns the noise out. The place we're looking at is up in the hills and while the houses aren't right on top of each other, it's generally pretty quiet. I've read many of the posts and links for soundproofing and anvil deadening, but what I'm particularly concerned about is my 25lb little giant. Of all my tools, I think it might be of the most concern. I'm not necessarily looking for advice on how to anchor it properly, but perhaps which way would deaden the sound/vibration best. Then there is the issue of ventilation. Would a smaller intake vent coupled with a small powerful exhaust vent/fan let less noise escape than say a larger opening (roll-up door) strategically placed facing away from neighbors houses? Does anyone have any nightmare neighbor stories? What problems arose and how were they resolved? Thanks
  13. WOW! Very clean lines, right up my alley. Although I love and appreciate all types of smithing, his work really speaks to me. An industrial quality with the right amount of "handmadeyness", not a word in the English language I'm sure. Thanks for sharing that.
  14. Hi Joel, me again. I think we're more kindred spirits than adversaries, and my apologies for underestimating your smithing skills. I'm a few years in, and still feel like I'm in my infancy. I guess some of us were born with more of a feel for metal than others. Not to beat the fire poker theme to death, but every once in a while, I see a set a set of fireplace tools and think "never seen that before, totally unique". Kind of like shoes and eye glasses, have no idea how they can keep coming up with so many new designs year after year. I guess my philosophy is to look at it as more of a challenge than a burden. That being said, I have yet to make a set of fireplace tools. My art school analogy was more of a broad observation and not directed towards you. All the best
  15. Joel, I really like the work and where you're headed, as well as the sentiment behind your impulse. The desire to make something unique is one that I share, but unfortunately, my mind is not one of those overflowing with original ideas. I wouldn't look at making the "standard" smithing items as a bad thing. Only 2 years in, I'm willing to guess you're still just learning how metal moves and just beginning to gain the skill set to move it. This in no way is meant as a cut on your work, but there is not all that much forging going on in them (not that there should be), They are closer to fabrication. At least the bent one. Fire pokers could challenge you for the rest of your life if you set your mind to it (again, not that you should). I guess I liken it to art school these days, students no longer want to learn the basics, one course of human anatomy and they ask what for? Any skill you can master in blacksmithing is going to help somewhere along the way. I feel I did myself a disservice by buying a trip hammer too soon. Should have spent more time with just a standard hammer and anvil getting the basics down. Somehow my post feels a little preachy. I hope you don't take it that way.