Brian Thomas

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About Brian Thomas

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  • Location
    Berlin, NH
  • Interests
    Traditional blacksmithing demonstrations, bladesmithing, foundry and cast, powder metallurgy, fabricating everything on a short budget.

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  1. The best advice I can give you is to not "psyche yourself out". From what I can tell from your post, that is exactly what you are doing. It is just like anything start off eager and then don't know how to proceed because you see many alternatives. Take a step back and think things through. Creative genius comes naturally and it cannot be forced. Think of the problem not as a block but as a time of personal reflection.
  2. You know, after all is said and done...maybe a lump of coal in the stocking wasn't such a bad idea... :mellow: As for me, probably just a pein hammer set. Love Christmas but don't care much for gifts.
  3. As the old saying goes; "Where there's a will, there's a way." He's a very brave soul indeed...but I guess after a while you pretty much lose feeling everywhere. It drops to -50 F up in these parts during extreme weather patterns but the only time you'll find me outside when its that cold is when I'm doing the penguin waddle to the car.
  4. You should tell your sister she did a fine job lacing that crust! It's either she's been baking from scratch for a while or has a natural talent in braiding dough. My second love to blacksmithing is found in the kitchen and in all of the years I've been making food stuffs have never been able to get the end result so tight. Big hands and fingers have their own pitfalls sometimes. <_< Shepherd's pie is a great tummy filler on cold nights. Happy Thanksgiving! As far as the knife goes, yeah...nothing bad to say about it, brother. You did a fine job on the blade as your younger did on the sheath and loop. I'm sure your grandaddy will be wearing it as a sign of how proud he is of the both of you!
  5. According to the Kohlswa website, the actual company was founded in 1584 but didn't see steel castings performed until 1886. Once more, the powder metallurgy and shell moulding foundry wasn't created until 1948 after mining engineer Gunnar Nordström took hold of the company's reins. So, by fair deduction one could assume the anvil in the OP to be at least 65 years old.
  6. I think you would benefit greatly by following the link provided [HERE] and do a little research into the different methods other blacksmith's have used in past while constructing both charcoal and LP fueled forges. The answer to your question really depends on what you have access to and how much work you are willing to put into a project. Many people have managed to build both types for pennies on the dollar while others have paid $x,xxx amount in the purchase of commercial grade furnaces. Some have even capitalized on the third party market and have acquired expensive brand name forges for relatively cheap or trade. Smithing doesn't need to be complicated. It can be simple and both functional and cost effective. (Photo courtesy of Twins Oak Forge)
  7. Thank you for all of your opinions regarding the anvil in the original post. I received an email back from the seller this morning and he himself doesn't really know much about it, but this is what he said when I asked him about the heel and history; The blacksmith that wanted to barter for the anvil originally is the owner of Ships Coy Forge in Lisbon, NH. Since I don't know entirely too much about IFI's restrictions on external links, I will just say that he does have a website and can be googled if anybody is interested in seeing his work.
  8. Well, I do have several choices...but for the past month these are the only other ones that have come up on listings. Taking price and travel restrictions into consideration these two are quite a bit out of the way and cost a bit more. I can't drive so these options are only open to how far my wife is willing to take me in the truck. #1: Very Serviceable Peter Wright - 151# ; $385 ; 2.5 hours away #2: Questionable Hill Anvil - No Weight Indicated on Ad - $320
  9. If it is indeed that old I wonder if the anvil is even workable? Most definitely need to do a rebound test when I go and see it in person early next year.
  10. It's raining cats and dogs outside!

  11. I have linked to this anvil via chat just recently and have received mixed input from several members. A few seem to think that despite its rugged appearance it is a good buy while others think I would be better off just to purchase an anvil with "more desirable characteristics". There is an argument whether or not this anvil is wrought iron or cast. I am currently in contact with the owner and waiting for a response as to what exactly he knows about this "oldie" and would very much like your opinion on the matter? What do you think for $275 ; $1.53/lb? The horn is definitely unique.
  12. Thank you for your suggestions, notownkid. I have considered joining the NEB however I am much of a loner and prefer to devise and experiment on my own, or with a relatively close knit group of friends. The experience provided on YouTube, IFI and several other forum communities allow me to progress ideas at a faster rate than if I were to attend structured demonstrations with a select number of craftsmen/women. My reasoning is going to sound a little off the wall for the majority but this has always been the way I have learned to do EVERYTHING. Besides that, I too am not the easiest of individuals to be around...just ask my wife. ;)
  13. While everything that was said preceding this post should be considered sound advice; this tidbit in particular is GOLDEN.
  14. The initial forum search led me to a picture with no article, but with the help of your additional keywords, I was able to find the thread you were talking about. The only issue I seem to have with that blueprint is that the barrels are vertically high. Where possible, I would like to make use of the drum's depth rather than just the width for longer pieces when necessary. I'll see about trying to use some aspects of supercharger rig as the majority looks fairly promising, but will probably need to modify the original concept to retrofit the drum in a horizontal position. The exhaust escape can be fitted to the side rather than the top, which would also reduce ceiling clearance in the shop. I'm assuming a 1/3 portion cut into the side of the barrel to create an open "scoop" while leaving the remainder enclosed would virtually produce the same result while helping to direct CO2 from the mouth. After reinforcement is in place and the refractory is shaped...all I would need to do would be to adjust for draft. Not going to happen. :) My eyes were damaged through actions entirely resulting from my own stupidity. I was punished by numerous arc flashes when I was in school for welding and even though the opthamologist said I would recover nicely, I've come to the conclusion that she was wrong. During bright sunny days, I can't even step outside without wearing sunglasses unless I'm itching for a migraine. You're right though...the fix is a personal preference thing. The only thing that can be done to limit exposure would be to try several different shades. Goggles and a facemask are already on the list. ;)