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I Forge Iron


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Everything posted by gote

  1. Pournelles principle: "Everything takes longer time than planned even when planned with Pournelles principle." Pournelle used to write about computing in 'Byte' but this is universal. "What the beancounter sees as perfect production is in reality a series of disasters that were prevented by the skilled people the beacounter is going to fire." Myself by personal experience. Cheers Göte
  2. A now deceased aquaintance of mine said they were excellent tools for removing the stones out of cherries before cooking them. Göte
  3. I have no picture but what I do is to take a small bolt, heat the head and pound it until it looks like hand made nail head. Then I use washer and nut on the back side. In this case, when the nut is visible, I would make a square nut like the one shown but threaded of course - or I would countersink the nut and make a spiked flat ornament to cover it. Nice looking furniture by the way. I wish I could do something like that myself on the "barn door" I have on my newly erected smithy. However, the doors open outwards and I want the "lock" to be on the inside. Cheers Göte
  4. A "real" drill press (buy). A side bench for my grinder and the drill press I hope to buy (build). A set of odd chisels for engraving and such stuff (make). Some kind of hold down for the anvil (make). A spring guillotine (make). More tongs(make/buy). In the far far future: Rebuild a log splitter into a hydraulic press. (In my area, log splitters are cheap and presses expensive.) And by the way: a hammer with angled pein (make buy or steal). Cheers Göte
  5. "As he stated loudly in his first posts he believes safety precautions are for wimps" Did he? I thought that he told about a mistake he did and asked for advice. My English must be rusty. Cheers Göte
  6. Glen, I agree you put it very well. Smooth bore, You are quite right: those Europeans that have NEVER lived in a truly free society might not understand the American mind set. (Who are they by the way) But the rest of us Europeans see more red tape in the US than at home and in my area organized crime has nothing to do with waste disposal. You have obviously never been to Europe. Bashing Europeans is no better than bashing Americans. It depends upon what kind of metal you are melting. I have seen various implements of uncoated iron/steel use for metals that melt at lower temperatures like lead tin and brass. If there is no flux available the oxide seems to prevent the fusion of the steel and the metal. Cheers Göte
  7. Dear Arftist, I have read and re-read Glumpy's posts and I am sorry but I could not find any obscene language or four letter words. If I compare with what we se on US TV-shows sent without any warning of parental supervision I do not get it. Please explain. With the best and most humble regards. Göte I have edited the foul language out, which would explain why you can not read it anymore.
  8. Glumpy, You are a genius. This is the way to handle them. Burning leaves is actually a waste. Most garden soils (and other of course) lack organic content. If the leaves are allowed to rot down in a heap for a season or two they are an excellent fertilizer that will improve the structure of most soils. How to do it depends upon the local climate. temperature rainfall etc. Twigs thicker than 10mm is another matter These I burn but I have no restrictions because my "estate" is classified as a farm. Reading this forum I realize that I am very lucky. I have no neighbours who can hear my anvil nor see my smoke. Besides I allow the locals to have a little jetty on my lake side for their boats. The result is that everybody is very friendly. Cheers Göte.
  9. They are also uncomfortable to sit on in the middle Cheers Göte <script type="text/javascript"> //
  10. Thomas, "not like the German Smith who would throw a hammer at you if you asked *him* to shoe a horse when he was a *Kunstschmied*!" My master and his competitor in town (Rothenburg ot) insisted on "Kunstschlosser" (locksmith-artist) Cheers Göte
  11. Patric, Of course I agree that the stance depends upon the work being done but it is difficult to know what is meant by "stay back" and "compact stance" without actually be looking at it. Maybe we do not disagree at all; maybe your compact is my natural but the way I read your post, I beg to disagree. POWER The energy of the moving hammer head is proportional to its weight and to the square of the speed. Thus increasing the speed by a factor two increases the power of the blow by a factor four. A very compact stance will decrease the ability to accelerate the hammer head. We have muscles that move our shoulder, our elbow and our wrist. It is efficient to use all of them and more or less equally. A compact stance does not make much use of the shoulder and a very compact stance will use mostly the wrist. Thus a compact stance does not use our muscles efficiently. The energy in the hammer head is proportional to the length of the acceleration travel times the force exerted by the muscles. Thus a very compact stance will not only use fewer muscles but also require a higher muscle force because the hammer travel is less. It will stress some of the muscles and let some be idle (or cramp up) A good way to become tired and eventually to need medical help. CONTROL If the stance is natural and stable when the hammer hits, the control will be good. The attention is not distracted by the body. If I pay attention to having the hammer near my ear and whether I tilt my head the right way and so on I cannot fully concentrate on hitting the target. One way to achieve a good stance is to start with the hammer on the anvil and take up a comfortable and natural position from there and then just start hammering. If the way of work is tiring this is in my view a very important factor in loosing control and eventually getting an accident. Cheers Göte PS Glenn I obviously agree with you. A natural position is a short step to the side. I am just wordier.
  12. I think Glenn summarized it very well. However I will flog the horse a little more. I do keep a thick insulated winter glove for my left hand that I use on material that "kicks back" usually when adjusting cold stuff. Sometimes I use gloves that do have cuffs but these are elastic and fit very snugly to my lower arm. Nothing can get into them. I do LOVE that "get it right the next time" and I will probably put up the Latin sentence somewhere. Cheers Göte
  13. SReynolds. In my view you are quite right in questioning that description. Of course there is not one only position and it is really quite ridiculous by the author of the book if he prescribes this stance as the one and only. It depends upon the anvil, what you are doing and who you are. There are quite a lot of anvils out there with no heel (like mine) and many stand on a stump of an old tree that is so wide that you cannot get your foot under it (mine do). If you are "moving iron" you want a stance that is comfortable and gives you control over your movement. This means thet you adjust your stance so it is easy to do what you want to do. I would rarely hold my head over the anvil. The bent position would feel bad on my spine and would hamper my swing. I want my body to be in a position that allows me full movement. I really cannot imagine how this position would give an efficient swing of the hammer. I swing with the whole body not with the wrist, shoulder or elbow only. How high you lift your hammer depends upon the weight of the hammer, the length of the handle, where you hold on the handle, if the anvil has the right height, how much rebound you get (and that depends upon your anvil and the piece you are forging) and and and. Fortunately there is no need to consider all these factors. We adjust automatically unless we think too much about the details. "If it works it is right". Personally I never start the hammer at the height of my ear but of course I do not bend over the anvil. The long distance would make me less accurate and I do not feel that the extra distance adds significantly to the speed of the hammer head and that speed is the important issue. It would slow me down and I want to get as many blows in as possible before the next heat. The technique also depends upon what type of hammer you use. I (nearly) always use a cross pein hammer. If I am stretching a piece of iron, for every heat, I first use the pein and then flatten the wavy surface with the flat part so it is flat again when it goes into the fire. This way the iron moves more in the direction of the hammer handle and less towards the sides. Obviously this means that if I want a piece to become wider I hold it perpendicular to the way I hold it if I want it too become longer. I do not know what "The popular blacksmithing book everyone reads" is but in my view this advice is very bad indeed. Cheers Göte
  14. This is kind of old thread but anyway... I use a 250 pound Swedish anonymous anvil with a round conical horn to the right and a square to the left. The hardie hole is to the left and I always have it empty unless I am actually using it. I did not think about the safety issue so much as that I want the surface uncluttred so I can move tongs and piece freely. The hot cut is on a shelf less than a yard away. When I stand in front of the forge I can take one step back and turn 120° to the left and face the anvil. Of the horns I usually use the round one. I am right handed and when I bend something over it that means that the anvil is to my left and front and clear out of my way. I can move easily to the best strinking position. If I had the horn to my left I would have the anvil in front of me and because of the taper of the horn the stump would interfere with my feet. The anvil would be in my way and hinder my movements. When I use the square horn (which is not too often) I usually move far to the left or even around to the other side. It seems that you guys usually have the London type and use the heel a lot. Am I right in assuming that it is rather "heel to the right" than "horn to the left" that is important? I would appreciate your comments. Do you "left-horners" not feel that the anvil is in your way when you use the horn? Cheers Göte PS I never do horseshoes.
  15. I have had one really great master and one that was good. None of them ever told me how to use the hammer. They told me how to shape the iron. However when I was a kid I was told by my father not to think about the hammer only about the nail and that worked. A Karate master will tell you not to think about hitting the board but thinking below the board. That thinking is also very useful when cleaving wood for fuel. Musashi stresses in his treatise on swordsmanship (the five rings) that one should not think about how to step or how to hold the sword. but concentrate on cutting the opponent. We are all a llittle different but my experience is that I should concentrate on what I want to have done, forget about technical niceties, and try to be comfortable with what I do. Then I get the best results and I do not hurt myself. This does not mean that there are not "wrong" ways that should be avoided. However, my experience is that the wrong ways tend to come from the unexperienced person thinking more on how to do things than on what to do. As a martial arts instructorI have seen this again and again. In another thread there is a discussion about where to hold the thumb. It makes no sense to me. If I want o move Iron I use a heavier hammer and hold the thumb down because I need more power. If I want to adjust, I use a lighter hammer and hold the thumb up because than I have more control. However, the switch comes unconciously if I do not think about it .. I agree that driving nails might be a good excercise and excercise is a good thing. I also agree that a good instructor is very beneficial but part of the instruction will be to concentrate on the work in hand. I saw someone on this forum say "Do not tickle it hit it" I could not agree more. I could also quote Yoda: "Do not try; do it or do not." I took a look at the farrier in the picture referred to aove. His anvil is far too high and that causes him to keep the elbows out in an inefficient way. Then he grips very close to the hammer head so he cannot swing the hammer properly - It is like holding a baseball bat in the middle.
  16. I started blacksmithing again after some 55 years so my physical condition is not great but I have zero problems. My advice is similar to that given by other more experienced men but I formulate it differently: Whatever I do - Blacksmithing, gardening, carpentry you name it - I do it in a comfortable way and the tool does the work not me. I make sure that the anvil is of the right height, that I can stand comfortably in front of it, that the hammer handle feels right (bought oval or home made rounded rectangular). that the hammer is not too heavy but the heaviest that feels good. Doing this makes it possible to swing the hammer effortlessly with natural movements and a light grip but with sufficient control. If it feels right it probably is right. The swing of the hammer involves the whole body but it is the hammer that does the work. This is not unlike what the swordsman Musashi says about swordsmanship. To mentally lock on using a special joint in the arm is probably wrong. When moving Iron I usually hit 3-5 times and then turn and/or observe the result. During that micropause I hit the anvil beside the work piece to get an effortless rebound and to keep the rhythm. I was told by an old smith who did the same that this rebound hit helped loosening tensions in the arm. I do not know if he was right but it feels right so I do it. Right anvil height to me means the height that makes the hammer hit flat in an effortless swing - to me about an inch higher than the traditional knuckle height.
  17. Looking for the pliers and finding the work bench is me all over. :wacko: However, I try to clear the area before starting on something new. Maybe it is very obvious but I try to use the time when the piece is in the fire. I rehearse in my mind what I am to do so I can work fast without stopping for thinking. The rehearsal helps me remeber to get the tools I need for that heat within reach.
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