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About ausfire

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    Senior Member

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  • Gender
  • Location
    North Queensland, Australia
  • Interests
    Metal work: blacksmithing, junk sculpture. Timber work: turning, furniture. Photography, aviation, motor sport. English teaching.

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  1. Trail cam critters

    I don't think our possums 'play possum' in the same way yours do, Das. I've never seen it anyway. And as for dogs not liking metal in their mouths, my collie certainly doesn't. Ever since she bit the chainsaw and lost a couple of teeth and got a slashed mouth, she won't go near it. Hard way to learn. Funny thing is, you can buy all the fancy, squeaky toys for dogs but the best toy we have found is a plastic plant pot. She has crunched up dozens of them.
  2. What Did You do in the Shop Today?

    Quiet day at the forge. Only two visitors - from Tucson, Arizona. Just made a couple more troll crosses. The middle one is a horse shoe, the one on the right is light rebar and the other is just 3/8 round. Copper rivets.
  3. Terrible smell

    When I first started blacksmithing I bought one of those Estwing cross peen hammers thinking the fibreglass handle would absorb shock. It didn't, and I have never been comfortable with the general feel and balance of the thing. It's good for hammering in tent pegs and garden stakes, but doesn't get a look in around the forge.
  4. hammer punch heat treat

    Just BTW, I have punched quite a few holes with the hammer punch as it was in the original photo. It's holding up very well. If I make another one I will ensure that the punch end is forged more in line with the hammer face. Only a slight offset but it is noticeable when struck.
  5. What Did You do in the Shop Today?

    Thank you, Das and Viking. That's pretty much what I was trying to do, but had trouble getting the scroll to progress evenly. I'll practise some more with a higher heat. (I tried a troll cross with wrought iron today but the scrolls finished up like toothbrushes. But wrought is another matter. I keep saying I'll avoid it, but we've got a lot of it round here). I hate to finish a forging session on a failure, so made a troll cross from a horse shoe and it looks OK
  6. Trail cam critters

    Marc, your possum is a brushie like this one that lives in my smithy. He's got a good grip on that apple core. We leave a bit of food out for it in the hope it might leave our paw paws and mangoes alone.
  7. Anvil costs

    Can you buy a new post vice? I can't recall seeing one in any of the blacksmith or tool catalogues or stores.
  8. What Did You do in the Shop Today?

    Yes, they are give-aways that someone will like. I managed to forge a good troll cross today using a small jig I made for the scrolls. Not perfect but better. Das, recall you saying on an earlier post that it was good to practise scrolls using only a hammer. I have tried that with limited success. I guess it's a way of making tight scrolls without a gap between the coils. Would you be kind enough to explain how that is done?
  9. What Did You do in the Shop Today?

    Made a couple of twisted S hooks while waiting for a bunch of schoolkids for today's demo. Made one for the demo too (they're quick and easy for limited attention spans). It was their teacher's birthday, so it made a nice little gift. Also, inspired by a recent post about troll crosses, just had to give it a try. The first one is a bit off because I didn't get the untwisted part in the centre of the loop. The second one I twisted the full length to avoid that problem. And the third was from round steel so I could set the crossover down a little. I guess the crucial thing with these crosses is to have good symmetry and the scrolls are ordinary at best. I'm going to make a small jig to get those scrolls consistent. And I also made a longhorn bull bottle opener for a cattleman neighbour of mine. He rang me recently to say he had burned a heap of big timber. I picked up nine big bags of good hardwood charcoal after the fire had cooled.
  10. The Dreaded Dimple!

    I would give that one another heat treat and then keep it as a perfect eye punch. Then make another for your countersink. And BTW, I like the way you countersink the screw holes - a method I have adopted from your previous posts. Thanks.
  11. What Did You do in the Shop Today?

    Yeah, there are so many different markings on wrenches. AF, BSF etc. You are talking about BSW (British Standard Whitworth) there, and you're right - the measurement is thread diameter not bolt head width. I don't normally use them in scrap art (or cat hooks) because they are in demand from people working on old (British) machinery. Any I come across in good condition are donated to the railway restoration people for use on their old locomotive restoration.
  12. What item is this?

    Yes, a Celsius thermometer. Can't see the significance of the key ... perhaps just decoration.
  13. What Did You do in the Shop Today?

    And sometimes it's by accident! The cat on the right already had a mouth - the 1 stamped on the 1 inch wrench.
  14. "if weather permits"

    Rain has stopped here so no problem. March is a hot month here if it's not raining but we are used to the heat. Cyclone predicted off the coast, but it looks like moving further south than us. Brisbane is getting ready.