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Everything posted by gote

  1. Dear Jennifer, Thank you for taking on the effort of expressing yourself so eloquently. At the moment I am pressed fot time so I only comment a small thing. A Kamae is the stance between the movement. The rest can be short or longer depending upon cirumstances. I am very sure since I many years ago had the enormous fortune to spend a too short week with Otake shihan, Don Draeger and a former Tokyo Police martial arts teacher plus a fourth guy also from Katori Shinto Ruy. I cannot have got it wrong. They used the word that way when we trained. It s also clear from Otake's three books.
  2. The thread has moved into the realm of stances and bears. As everyone else I can only speak about what works for me. I will be 80 next year and I am definitely a hobby blacksmith with probably less than 1000 hours behind me. I practically never work heavier material than 1/2" x 1" and I need to be careful with my back. My elbow ends at waist height not at hip height so the distance from the hip is a meaningless measure. My elbow and shoulder joints give my right underarm a 45° angle to the left when held horizontally. If I do not want the hammer to rotate my wrist, the hammer handle will point in the same direction. I prefer to have the striking target in front of me. This means that the elbow must be out from my waist at the moment of impact unless I stand very far from the anvil. The distance elbow-waist (or what I have instead of a waist ) is 4-6". The resulting trajectory of hammer head is fairly close to Frosty's "plane of rotation". However one has to take into account that even if the nave of the rotating arm is the shoulder joint, the movement in the elbow tends to move the plane outwards. The martial art stances are intended to enable the martial artist to move suddenly. They are not "designed" for repetitive work. Unless we keep our center of gravity above our feet we will fall to the ground. A cyclist has a third suppport in the saddle. When I was making a number of "tent pins" from 10mm square to keep the bottom of my anti boar/deer fence down I experimented with a 2.5 lsb hammer and a 4 one to see which was more efficient when forming the point. The result was that it did not matter. Every point took the same time. The heavier hammer made more impact but I could get more hits in the same time with the lighter. The heavier hammer was tiring so I stuck to the lighter. My normal hammer trajectory with the #2.5 is somwhere between 20" and 30". I might get a higher impact speed if I hit from three feet but the frequency would go down (probably also precision) Question: do I get more done with less frequent but harder hits? (with the same hammer). The agressive position is obviously a must if the anvil is low and it is also a necessity when working hooves. Question: Is the low anvil a result of the need for an agressive position or or is it the other way round. I.e. have anvils set to a heigt adjusted to working with sets and a striker forced the "crouching tiger" stance? If I were to use a sledge hammer on a strength test contraption at a fair I have no doubt that I would strike from overhead and bend knees and back in the strike but I see no reason to hit with my whole body when using a #2.5. Since the body is very heavy compared with the hammer head, frequency tends to go down if I strike with my whole body. Part of the reason for the bent knees etc is to compensate for the reaction. If I make a heavy object move, my body will move in the other direction unless i check it. Heavier stock forces a heavier hammer (to avoid fishmouthing etc) and a heavier hammer will need a longer acceleration distance giving the same arm strength. I believe that there is a kind of limit to the speed we can move our limbs (Otherwise a weight lifter would be the best javelin thrower) and that causes a kind of diminishing return on the striking trajectory lengt. A way to overcome this limit is to use a handle. A handle speeds up the hammer head and Frosty's "flip technique" (sorry Frosty I do not have a better word) makes more of this effect. If I need to choke up on the handle I am using a hammer that is too heavy for me to lift. Ideally I would lift the hammer close to the head (to decrease load on the wrist) and hit holding at the end of tha handle but we have to compromise. What puzzles me when looking at videos by known smiths is that many of them have a low frequency and some choke up on the hammer.
  3. Fagersta Bruk (no 's'). Another Swedish manufacturer
  4. I agree, also I would prefer a south German with upsetting block and shelf. I have the second best, a north Swedish. One sqare horn and one conical. The hardy hole is on the square side. This is better since I have the cone to the right. Thus there is no risk of hitting a cut off with the hammer hand. The hardy hole is also in a place where there is a substantial mass below and not out on a cantilever as the London pattern. Weight, I have 250 pounds and I am happy with that. I see 200-300 pounds as a good weight. (for shop use not for lugging around)
  5. Thank you for the pics. The method looks so attractive that even if my stumps are good, I have put it on my list of things to make for the next stump or whatever needs levelling/planing. A plane is a good tool but not really across grain.
  6. I have never had a hammer rebound anytwhere near my head but #!: I have the anvil at wrist height so I do not bend over it. #2: To me it is natural to have the elbow a little out from the body so a rebound goes more to the right. #3: I keep strictly to the rule of not working tired.
  7. I made a hot cut out of a surplus cross pein hammer by grinding the pein into an edge but I do not use it much. A hardy tool saves me the third arm and I get less heat loss into the anvil.
  8. I want the hardy to rest on the face of the anvil so the force is transmitted directly, not by wedging. Thus I make sure there is a good horizontal contact surface. I take a piece of square tubing, heat it and hammer it into the hardy hole. Compared to a solid shank, there is less heat to transfer and shorter time to transfer it. There is also less risk of popping off the heel of a London pattern anvil. I mark the tube at anvil face height and cut the tube about 1/16 below that. I now have a well fitting piece with much less work and much less risk to the anvil than a solid shank has. The tube can be welded to a hardy and if the hardy has an ill fitting shank, it can be fitted over the shank. Of course this assumes that you can find a square tube that is a wee bit larger than the hardy hole and that there is a very slight taper in the hole. If I had a London pattern anvil I would weld the tube to a piece of plate and the bottom tool to the plate so the tool is over the sweet spot.
  9. I agree with Glenn. I hold the hammer as a tennis racket except when doing finicky things. I hold the elbow out from the body and I keep the anvil higher. I do not do it that way because someone told me to. I do it that way because it is easier. I was told at a fairly tender age to concentrate on the nail not on the hammer and that works for me. Until today I have never thought about where I hold my elbow. One thingless to worry about. Of course the grip should be loose. That holds for any tool, lever, crank or wheel. To grip harder than is necessary to guide the thingummibob in question is not only tiring it decreases control. My back told me a few years ago that anvil height is wrist not knuckle.
  10. It so happens that I (or rather my wife) has a Plumbago plant in the window sill. Nice fragrance when it is in flower. The connection between Lead (Plumbum) and graphite eludes me - Colour?. Aah now I found it The amount of knowledge that this site inspires is amazing - even if some is useless. "The confusion began with the English, who started using a new mineral called plumbago to write and draw with. In the late 16th century, the residents of Seathwaite in Barrowdale, Cumbria, had stumbled upon a deposit of an intriguing new mineral. The mineral had interesting physical properties – it shimmered, it was solid and black, had a greasy feel and left a mark upon your hands when rubbed. The mineral was so much like the lead ores found at the time that the residents called it plumbago – which is Latin for lead ore, or colloquially, black lead. The locals soon began using the material to mark their sheep, which they had in plenty. Before long, someone found that plumbago also made excellent marks on paper." Thus lead pencil.
  11. Yes beeswax is "that stuff will never solidify" meaning it will remain sticky covering itself with dust. My daughter bought a piece of old furniture treated this way and eventually had an annoying job of getting it off. The linseed oil treatment is referred to as schwarzbrennen or svartbränning in Germany and Sweden respectively and is the traditional surface coating of blacksmithh work. I only know plumbago as house plants. ????
  12. Most blacksmith use average size tools. Of course they do If not. they would not be average. Is this a joke??
  13. I have slowly found out that the more ignorant people are, the more opinionated they are and the more likely they are to interfere with my work.
  14. Beautiful
  15. How you do it depends upon what tools you have available. I used an electric wood plane to flatten the surface of the stump. I thought about using Steve's method but I felt that it was unnecessarily complicated for a single stump. Then I put the anvil on and traced the footprint. Anvil off again and, using a router, I cut a 3/8 recess to prevent the anvil from walking. I use no chain and the anvil just stands in the recess. This works because it is heavy enough. (250 pounds). What is important is that I made the recess slightly dished (about 1/16) so the anvil stands on the rim. That helps dampening the sound and also gives stability. (here I disagree with Thomas. I do not want contact in the central parts of the anvil bottom surface.) A smaller anvil will need some kind of tying down, both for stability and silencing. An anvil is usually not machined to high precision on the underside so you will have to make sure it makes good contact with the stand in the corners of the footprint. Even if the stand surface is dished you might need to shim a little. Caulking will take care of it but if used all over the surface, it will not support the rim only and that is my hobby horse. I started from a solid piece cut from a tree trunk. I wedged it up, future upside down, to a good vertical and then cut it horizontal, too tall and slightly dished, using a chain saw and spirit level. Since it was intended for a dirt floor the chain saw precision was enough. For a hard floor i would have finished with the plane. Next step was to turn the stump and measure the intended height (+3/8) from floor level, cut with chain saw, plane and router. On a solid floor I expect to need wedging around part of the edges, even if the bottom is dished but this is easily done. Thin slivers of wood cut with a knife work well. Rock and push until the rocking stops.
  16. Well said Frosty
  17. I still have to make a froe. I have never seen any for sale here. I use a knife as froe for the small kindling I use in the forge. Otherwise I use an axe. Strangely enough I have never had any pieces jump up but I hate the picking up so I will try your idea Frosty.
  18. If I look at the picture I get the impression that you cook your squirrels in aluminium pots. Is that correct? And how do you pour them out?
  19. Frosty Do you know that you can get the cork out by banging the bottom of the bottle into a tree or similar. The cork will slowly slowly creep out. A geta way to make sure the 'depot' will be thoroughly blended in again Oh I forgot. The round horn must point to the nearest place for worship of pagan gods. (for forge welding, the bottle can point any direction - --I hope
  20. Could not agree more Vaughn well said
  21. I have met a gentlman in suit and city shoes on a Swedish mountain trail above tree limit. We used to call these misplaced nature lovers 'pelicans' I do not know why.
  22. Proably because they have heard that one should normalize before hardening and tempering.
  23. You do not need tongs to make tongs. Get yourself sufficiently long stock so you can hold it in your hand.