DavidTodtman

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About DavidTodtman

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    Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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  1. I worked in the Columbia River Valley south of Golden, British Columbia on a four-person section gang in the early 1970s. We usually cut rail with a gas powered hack saw running at a slow speed. I cannot recall exactly how long the cut took but I would guess the time was about 20 minutes. While the machine ran, we got to sit, chew the fat with each other, and gaze up at the Rocky Mountain peaks . Occasionally--when we were in a pinch and without our power hack saw, we cut with a scoring chisel (on long handle as noted in the post by Icorps1970). It worked to produce a relatively square and smooth cut. Smooth enough to make an adequate track joint.
  2. Humm... What's the problem? Maybe hot bits would dislodge from the hot metal and melt the wire insulation (plastic covering). I think some form of metal covering would work really well for the power supply. What would you suggest? BX cable? EMT conduit? BTW, MFK, your fab looks great. I too think more pictures would be in order (for us who may wish to steal your ideas!) Best, David
  3. Frosty, are you able to post a picture of what you are describing? Thanks.
  4. When I was young I worked on the Canadian Pacific Railway on a section gang in the Columbia River Valley in the British Columbia rockies. I saw it done that way. Actually, I do not recall the 'drop the rail thing.' I recall scoring the rail all around and then sledging the hardy hard on top of the rail to make the cut. By the way, a whole length of rail--of the older type--is 33' long. Rail was referred to by its weight; all the rail on our section was 125lb rail (125 lbs per foot). The old guys on the section gang really knew how to use jacks and lever arms to move that heavy rail around. All our work was out in the boonies and any sort of crane was absolutely unheard of. At the time I was fresh out of university and thought I knew everything. The guys on the section gang taught me I really didn't. I appreciated that.
  5. So very nice. Stunning. Thanks for the post.
  6. I am left handed and it was really awkward at first. Then I was fortunate enough to get a left-handed hammer and boy what a difference that made!
  7. Very helpful, Frosty. Thanks.
  8. Hi Viking. Sorry for not replying earlier. I just didn't see your note. I would be happy to give you any specs on my gas forge if you still want them. I got the tank from Princess Auto. Its a 5 gallon portable air tank.

    Best,

    David

  9. Federal Metals--Calgary, Alberta--informed me today that after 65 years they can no longer sell scrap to the public. Liability (risk of injury to the public) is the issue. They were apologetic and sorry to make the change. I get it and was not really surprised. Federal Metals was the only scrap dealer in Calgary that retailed scrap to the public.  (They let me onto the yard one more time, after I promised not to get crushed by one of their loaders.) Is this a reflection of what is happening elsewhere? I suspect there may be scrap dealers in smaller centres in Southern Alberta that still retail scrap to the public and will look around.  Ciao, David 
  10. Way nice JKindy. I am going to copy what you did. I have some nice 3" schedule 80 pipe in my scrap pile that should do just nicely. You wrote that the base is 24" in diameter but in retrospect larger would be better. If you were starting over today what diameter do you think you'd use (assuming 1/2" base plate)? This, I don't have loafing around in my shop so a trip to the scrap yard is in the offing for me. And, you wrote you "had to get...a welder." Nice. Ciao, David Todtman
  11. These are often refered to as "dry cut saws." I have had one for about 10 years. I dislike abrasive cut off 'saws' because they make sparks (fire hazard), burs, stink, produce airborn ditritus, and leave the cut off ends G_d-awful hot. A dry cut saw cuts clean of burrs. It produces metal chips, not a mixture of airborn fine metal and abrasive dust. It does produce a little heat but I can handle the cut off end and fit it immediatly in place. Blades are pricy but I make thousands of cuts with one blade. Yep, you cannot cut hardened materials--best only for mild steel. Ciao, David
  12. Ditto the suggestion that you check out pottery/ceramics suppliers. I spent hours googling mail order providers and calling local industrial outfits that supply the oil and gas industry here in Calgary, Alberta. Then, I called a ceramics supplier and they knew exactly what I wanted and needed for my blacksmithing forge.
  13. ptree, I did see S4 listed as 'shock steel' and hardenable in a general steel industry listing. But then I also saw S4 listed in the mild steel category by a ring gasket maker. So your point about incompatable material designations makes sense. Thanks. It also makes more sense to me to think that some form of mild steel would be preferable for a compression ring--expected to deform to create the seal. And yah, the stuff marked S316 is stainless. I have some S316 stainless tig rod in my little shop's inventory.
  14. Thanks Doc. I did some more research and found the manufacturer and products made by similar companies. They are compression rings--called ring joint gaskets--used to effect a seal where two pipe flanges come together. These particular flanges are for extremel high pressure applications upwards of 15,000 to 20,000 lbs per square inch pressure. I will test the non-stainless ones for hardening. I will likely end up stick welding them into some sort of garden trellis, I think. Thanks again all.
  15. Thanks Doc. I did some more research and found the manufacturer and products made by similar companies. They are compression rings--called ring joint gaskets--used to effect a seal where two pipe flanges come together. These particular flanges are for extremel high pressure applications upwards of 15,000 to 20,000 lbs per square inch pressure. I will test the non-stainless ones for hardening. I will likely end up stick welding them into some sort of garden trellis, I think. Thanks again all.