arkie

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About arkie

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    Cranky Old Guy

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  • Location
    NW Arkansas
  • Interests
    Blacksmithing and welding

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  1. Beautiful job! That handle is out of this world as well. You should be proud of the work you did on it.
  2. Hire a licensed electrician, tell him(them) what your loads will be (welder, drill press, grinder, etc.). Run a separate circuit for your welder. Have them install a subpanel as Steve suggested (they will tell you to do that as well). More receptacles, the merrier, again as Steve recommended. With a licensed electrician doing the work, it will cost a few bucks more, but you will sleep better at night and in the case of a shop fire, you and your insurance agent will be happier as well. I know of several folks out in the country who have done their own wiring, but you're rolling the dice. When I changed from 120VAC in my shop to 240VAC, I had a licensed electrician do the work. I also sleep well at night knowing it was done RIGHT!
  3. I'm lucky on the one that I am about to work on. The previous owner took the valve out and cut the bottom off to make a dishing tool!
  4. There are many youtube videos that show how folks have made different types of bells from cylinders....please don't flame me for mentioning youtube!! LOL
  5. For most applications using coil springs (car, truck, etc.) such as punches, small drifts, and so forth, which are seldom longer than 10" I find it MUCH easier to just measure along the coil segment for the length needed and cut it off with an angle grinder. Any thing longer such as a hold down, do it the same. It's then easy to just heat the smaller lengths of the cut off coil in the forge and straighten, than using the heat and pull method.
  6. UPDATE: BOA Central Chapter meeting for Feb. 2020 will be Feb. 15, in Hot Springs, AR PM me for details
  7. This guy posted the same message over on the weldingweb yesterday........
  8. I'll try to make this short story long.......LOL Like many others, my first-made thing was an S-hook. I was a bit curious about blacksmithing, so was invited to a monthly meeting at a member's fantastic smithy. I stood around most of the morning, just trying to be observant and, frankly, too intimidated to ask questions. After a couple of hours, this gentleman approached me and inquired "Well, what are you wanting to make?". Not knowing flip about smithing, I replied, "I have not the faintest clue". He took me under his wing, out to the "resource pile", otherwise known as the scrap iron pile. He picked out a piece of steel rod, probably 1/4", about 2 feet long. He said that he would cut it in half, then he would make the S-hook to show me how, and then I was to make one like his. "Watch closely", he instructed. OK. He proceeded to make his hook about 6" long, with the most graceful, fluid motions including a nice little finial curve on each end...beautiful. He handed me the hammer and said for me to now make mine. I had never before struck a piece of steel and was praying (and shaking a little) that this would not be a train wreck. After finishing mine, it miraculously turned out really good, almost a mirror image of his. I was awe struck and proud at the same time! The smith congratulated me on doing very well for a beginner and went on off to join the other members. Needless to say, "my cork was pulled under" and I was literally hooked on blacksmithing; joining the organization right on the spot; eager to start acquiring the tools necessary to launch off on a new adventure of smithing. An announcement was made that it was lunchtime and to gather at the house. I inquired of one of the members who was that kind and patient gentlemen who was helping make my first smithing item; that I had neglected to get his name. "Oh", he replied, "that was Bob Patrick". I had heard a little about Bob Patrick's reputation and at that point I was about ready to crawl in a hole!!....if I had known beforehand who was taking the time to patiently instruct me on my first project I would have been too intimidated to proceed. He was the kindest, most patient person to walk me through my task. After I got home, I researched Bob Patrick further and then really WAS humbled to have had that experience. Still, smithing to this day... the most enjoyable thing I have ever done in my life. All thanks to Bob Patrick.
  9. BOA February, 2020 meetings; dates and locations: NW Chapter, Timbo, AR, Feb.8 Central Chapter, TBA (usually third Saturday of the month) PM me for location details.
  10. If you're making charcloth, use only 100% cotton. FYI, for all practical purposes, chert and flint are the same basic composition, just different names. Flints, as such, tend to be "cleaner" and of a more consistent coloring. I live on a hillside in Arkansas, here called "Rockinsaw", covered in chert. It's not as clean as what is commonly called flint, but it works just as well at making sparks. Here is an excellent tutorial on flint strikers and striking...best I've seen by far.
  11. Savage, I don't have a link for you, but a couple of years ago, my son ordered both Anvils in America and Mousehole Forge for me as a Christmas gifts and bought them directly from Richard Postman...don't know if you can still do that. As I recall, the price(s) were cheaper from him than other sources, and Postman even autographed them for me. You might do a search for some webpage of his or something like it.
  12. Savage, if you can, borrow or buy the book Mousehole Forge, by Richard Postman. Fascinating reading about the forge and the anvils themselves.
  13. Marc, thanks for the update and glad the family is safe for now. Sounds like settlers have pretty well thrown Australia under the bus, so to speak. Better that the Aborigines take the land back!!!!! The forest service here in NW Arkansas does "controlled burns" from time to time to reduce the fuel load in wooded areas, but brush and grasslands aren't burned, to my knowledge (someone correct me if I am wrong, please). As we have seen in your situation, grass and brush can do just the same damage as wooded/forest areas. Our neighboring state, Oklahoma has seen some downright devastating grass and brush fires in the past few years. The graphic posted here by Glenn showing the overlay of Aussie fires over the continental U.S. made my jaw drop.... I wish the best for you and family, take care.
  14. A dinner bell should be shaped like a bell, no?