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Everything posted by Ian

  1. Hi guys, thought you all might like to see this: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-29011898 it's your's truly on the BBC no less, trying not to take the micky out of the journalist too much. Those of you who've met me will know :) IAN
  2. Hi Mick, I'll be tagging along with a couple of folks, be good to say hello to Owen again and see how you guys do a smelt. Last time I did one was out in Oz with MOONY a few years back now. Great fun to watch how it's done. Also looking forward to meeting Brian B from the states (really like his style) and to pulling Uri's leg again if I get a chance, last time was at Ironbridge waaaaay back. It's still a joke in the shop to shout 'Da Hofi vay!' in a booming voice at unsuspecting peeps :) hope I can bag a spot on his power hammer class as well as Brian's tool making class
  3. Hi, could be anything from paint to galvanizing (Zinc coating) so be very careful with it. Burning of simple paint releases some nasty stuff but burning off zinc in a confined space can be fatal. If you do want to burn the coating off do it outside and stay upwind of it.
  4. For the three step pulleys try Machine Mart
  5. Ian

    meat fork

    Very nice mate, very nice indeed. Remember seeing that in the magazine, thought it looked like a lot of work but a great demonstration/show piece. Kudos
  6. I very much doubt they were made of metal, I think they were some sort of plastic illuminated from inside. The iron pour effect was pretty good I thought though :D
  7. Hi, I've got the same book myself and I'd say if you are literally just starting then you could do a lot worse than this one. That said read as many books as you can and if you get a chance to talk to someone who casts for a living then do so. Jewellers are a good place to start for small and delicate stuff, foundrymen for the (much) bigger stuff. There are a few websites dedicated to backyard casting as well, as I'm sure google will inform you. Good luck and play safe.
  8. With one exception all of my anvils are Brooks, I really like them. They're cast steel, ring pretty badly (or well, depending on what you think of a ringing anvil) and are usually as hard as nails to mark or dent. Some folks don't like the thicker heel section but I do, feels less 'springy' under heavy work unlike some of the thinner heeled styles. Looks like it needs a good wire brush though LOL If you can get the price down to around the figure Mr Powers suggests I'd take his arm off, otherwise $300 isn't cheap but is still a good investment for a portable quality anvil.
  9. Having met and spoken with both Uri Hofi and Alfred Habermann, I can tell you that both men were extremely opinionated. Both men are also (or sadly in Freddy's case were) extremely talented too. I took from both what I found to be useful to me, given that I am not them, do not swing like them, forge like them or work as they do/did. I work like me. A wise man said 'there is nothing new under the sun' and there's a lot to be said for that, but as grown ups and with brains capable of decent cognitive action we've no excuses for throwing our teddies from our prams over this sort of stuff. Informed debate should be encouraged, but eppy scoppies waste everyone's time. So what if Uri's 'ergonomic' technique is no more an original idea than hitting anything with a hammer? I've seen that style of swing in half a dozen countries used by guys who've never heard of 'Uri Hofi' or his patented hammers. Uri's in it to make a living boys and girls, so deal with it. I don't hold it against him, good luck to him. I'm just capable of seeing the wood for the trees. Hofi hammers are an amalgam of ideas taken from other hammer styles (such as the Czech style, Ozark style and the hammer the Alfred Habermann's grandfather made, that Alfred himself used, plus others Uri has seen, I'm sure) Fine, if he wants to claim that as his design then whatever he sees fit. They are well made tools and like any hammer if used properly can do the job just fine. Are they better than every other type of hammer? No, I don't think they are, they are simply a good tool. Some folks love them, some hate them, non of which matters. It's what you think of them and what you can do with them that ultimately counts.
  10. Hi mate, not yet but things are progressing in the right direction. Phase two works on the Farm have begun so by the end of May next year there should be a new workshop to move into, at the minute the old one is surrounded by Harris panel fencing and a lot of empty ground but I can still get in there to work :)
  11. quote: "this is defiantly the friendliest profession going...." now that's my kind of typo :D
  12. Hi Kyra, I run a small workshop on a City Farm in Stepney, Central London. I'd imagine that it's possible to get a train or something into London from Portsmouth pretty easily and there's a tube station five or ten minutes walk away from the Farm where I am in Stepney Green. You are more than welcome to drop in if you can give me a bit of notice and I'll light a fire for you, show you a few things and give you a chance to have a go at least before you start shelling out anything. My numbers 07899 780703 or you can email me at ian stuart lowe @ gmail.com (just remove the spaces) if you're interested Best wishes IAN
  13. having problems with the other picture, but heres Sean at work
  14. I visited with Jim Austin and second what Basher said, the man knows axes :)
  15. Lowell Chaput (in orange) President of the CBA Brent Bailey Joe Koches - The Blacksmiths Shop Michael Bondi's place Frank Trousil Jonathan Reddan (left) and Jim Austin
  16. California: The Crucible Jeff Pringle Chris Niemer - www.thecrucible.org Nina Cliff Bohm Joe Felber - www.jjforge.com
  17. Oh, and this is the first piece of work since I got back to the UK. Having hauled ten pounds of (Mule Team 20) Borax back with me I figure I'll be doing some forge welding to see how it performs against sharp sand so I'll need a flux spoon... :D
  18. HI mate, yes it's a mix that includes salt, lots of salt. It's washing up liquid, a dishwasher rinse agent like 'jet dry' and salt (not sure of the exact recipe, but it'll be online somewhere). The trick (as shown to me by Larry) is to quench your mild steel by plunging it into the quench mix in the same motion as using a sink plunger (up and down) instead of a stirring motion. Repeat the heat and quench twice in all. The photo shows the parent bar stock split in two at the end (done hot) and two bolts cut (cold) with a chisel made from the same parent stock and then quenched in the mix
  19. Greetings all, I arrived back in London earlier this morning after a very nice 6 hour flight sat next to an extremely pretty polish girl ,who it turns out, has an uncle back in Poland who's a farrier. We swapped numbers. Small world Anyhow, my heartfelt thanks to everyone who raised a flag or lit a fire to help guide me through the amazing part of the world we know as the USA. I hope I wasn't a pain in anyone's a-s, said anything unintentionally that offended or made more of a nuisance than I was worth. It's my sincere hope that if any of you make it over this way I can be as hospitable as you all were. Now I hope you'll bear with me while I try to sort out some sort of life again then I'll get to posting some of the places and people I've seen. Oh and a late breaking but equally big thanks to 'Smithy1' AKA Larry from the forge over at Central Park who managed to round out my trip with some time in the fire at the 11th hour and conclusive proof that superquench CAN and DOES work. IF you know how to use it, which myself and Sean now do Saludos Sir!