David R.

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About David R.

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    Advanced Member

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  • Location
    Hurricane, WV
  • Interests
    Blacksmithing, building/shooting flintlock rifles, historical reenacting.

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  1. I have found some really good ones (horse drawn hay teeth) and some that weren't consistent, even in the length of the same piece. One end hardened beautifully in oil and the other end of the same rod would hardly harden in water?
  2. I have the same issues. My shop has a dirt floor and no heat except for the forge. When it warms up that cold anvil will be dripping wet sometimes. I might try running the fan some.
  3. Bellows as they went in my friends shop over a year ago and as they came out yesterday. As they are mounted overhead in my shop ready for use
  4. Coal use will depend a lot on type of forging done. Heavy welding heats obviously uses more fuel than light forging.Type of coal is important also. I am not sure what they mine in your area but I always heard western coal was high sulpher. Metilurgical coal is best. Here we were getting some really great sewell and pocahantas coal. Our best 'cadillac' coal source dried up, mine closed. Rumor is the mine is scheduled to reopen under new owners. We were able to pick up truckloads at the mine. I would suggest looking for other smiths in your area and networking to get coal in bulk. You can't beat versatility of coal forge but don't overlook an adequate flue to carry off the smoke and gasses.
  5. (See my other post on restoring bellows) I am partial to forging with a bellows. I have worked forges with hand cranked blowers, electric blowers and traditional bellows. I prefer a good bellows over them all. I feel like the rythmic sound of the soft clack of the valves is sort of soothing. I like the smooth even blast and the lack of the blower noise. Seems more natural to me. It is also harder for me to burn up my steel with a bellows. Can't wait to get mine up and running. I also think pulling on the bellows lever is less taxing ergonomically than turning a crank. Like Thomas said, the capacity is adjustable by adding wait on the top paddle. A couple hammers or a few horse shoes laid up there if we are pulling welding heats. Yours looks to be in fairly good condition. Mine measures about 86 cm x 193 cm
  6. Plugging nail holes and gluing up a few small cracks etc.,. in preparation for new leather
  7. It has been interesting to get into it. It is in original condition and could find no evidence of previous repairs except for the 'factory' leather patch shown in the fourth photo that covered a place where a piece of the wood tore out on assembly revealing part of the feather that fit in the grooves holding them in alignment. You can see the original hide glue in the joints that is still sound in most places. Light cleaning reveals the outside was painted with a red paint of some kind. I had intended to give it plenty of linseed oil but a friend suggests using thinned out spar varnish particularly on the inside to give it some fireproofing. There was evidence of hot embers being drawn back in and burning some spots near the throat. The valves don't need replaced, just relined with new leather. One rib brace chewn through by mice will have to be replaced. The ribs look like oak, the center board and bottom yellow poplar.The top looks like pine and maybe chestnut? Hundreds and hundreds of cut nails and tacks pulled out! I don't know how you date one of these but my guess would be it is 100-150 years old. The spout is cast but the other iron work is all hand forged.
  8. Finally got this project started. Disassembled and cleaning with some preliminary repairs. Fairly good condition but of course needs all new leather.
  9. I have a silver I recently reassembled. It was pretty rough with spindle frozen. After months of penetrating oil baptisms, some heat and gentle persuasion, I got it apart. Only thing missing is bar stock for crank handle.
  10. Brickwork done on the forge. Have not had a fire yet but lit a couple empty mortar sacks and looks like it will draw pretty good. Now to rebuild the bellows.
  11. My best vise was laying in the mud by one of my dealer's back sheds. I took it apart, cleaned and wire brushed and oiled as I reassembled. Use it nearly everyday. I picked up another rough one the other day because it was cheap. Have not cleaned it up yet.
  12. Here is the progress on my new shop. I already wish it was larger, but an improvement over the shade tree.
  13. Portable anvil stand. Got tired of dragging 150 pound anvils around for demos. Got this little Vulcan in a trade and decided to make a stand for it. No nails or fasteners. Gravity and the two wooden keys lock it all together. Made out of one wide poplar plank.