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Everything posted by gote

  1. I would modifie that to "you should not have all eges sharp". There are uses for a sharp edge and It is practical not to grab for the hardy hole inset every time
  2. I would have made the "fork" and the pin from wood. In my situation that is the quickest way. You do not need to fix a punch the way you fix a hammer head. Many advocate the use of a very loose fit to decrease any kickback into the holder's hand. Traditionally we used handles from fresh hazel rods.
  3. I would make a forked handle that is high enough at the punch to allow me to put a piece of wood through the punch as well as through both tines but I have a good wood working shop so that is quicker than making a new punch.
  4. Postscript: If I understand Frosty right, his stand supports the anvil only around the edges. By that he achives the same effect as I do by dishing the stump and his stand silences the anvil well, so does mine.
  5. To decrease the ringing it is important that the contact between the anvil and the stand is good around the edges. I use the traditional tree stump and dish the top surface just a little bit. A small anvil I will bolt or nail down at the edges of the feet; a large one can sit in a routed depression. Even Swedish cast steel anvils become reasonably silent this way. If the contact is not good, the heel and the feet below will form a nice tuning fork with the heel acting as a loudspeaker.
  6. The best tong sits at the end of your left arm. Use stock that is long enough for you to hold without burning yourself. If the heat is creepimg towards your hand, dip that hand with the stock in water to cool that end down again. Do not use your right hand to do that. It will become slippery and that will impair your striking. Do not use gloves. If you hold the stock with a glove and the glove heats up you are in for a problem in getting the glove off and disposing of the hot stock at the same time. Do not dunk a hot glove in the water. If you hit cold stock the chanses are good that the impact will transfer very uncomfortably to your left hand so take a new heat before that happens. Plan your work so the cut off is that last thing you do. Cut off against the edge of the anvil as hinted above or use a hacksaw.
  7. And I use a little stainless gardening "hand showel" intended for potting compost in the forge. It is perfect the way I run the relatively small forge. I always have the fire covered so the short handle is no disadvantage.
  8. Yeah, I forgot about forge welding. Of course an apron is a must - and I wear glasses all the time but not tinted. And I avoid syntetic fabrics. I do no know what I do wrong but I never burn holes in my clothes when smithing. Bonfires are different in that respect
  9. In my opinion it all depends upon what one is doing. I do not worry about IR since I practically always cover the fire. My fire is black. That saves heat and is good for the eyes. I have a silent anvil so I do not worry about ear protection when smithing but I have helmet intended for logging with eye and ear protection that I always use when grinding. I never wear gloves unless there is a risk of "kickback" when straightening cold stock. Then I use a padded glove on my left hand - of course I use gloves and the usual stuff when stick welding. I use a leather apron but more for looks really. It never had to save me from anything but dirt. I have good forced exhaust so there is rarely anything in the air from the forge so I normally do not wear a mask. I do use a filter mask in the wood working shop when sawing dry timber I have much more stuff in the air there than in the blacksmith shop.
  10. Beauty in functionality. Yes that is something I believe in. Someone mentioned a cold shut. If you have a bad cold shut, it is really difficult to “refine” it away. If the piece goes bad it is better to consider it as “ raw material for something else” and start again. In the work process of an artist or artisan there is usually an optimum. Up to that point the piece is being better. After that, “refinement” really makes it worse. Part of the skill lies in recognizing the optimum and stop work in time.
  11. Blacksmith work is not geometry. Geometry is a branch of mathematics. Zen also implies a "unreasoned" understanding and the ability to execute a stroke with the brush or katana wthout thinking. I think that a good blacksmiths can do this with a hammer. Perhaps we are getting into more of a semantic discussion about what various pople mean with the word perfect than abourt when good is good enough.
  12. This is a very difficult question because it depends upon what is being made and what you had in mind when making it. To me, it is good enough if it works as intended. But.....looks are also a part of the usabillity. If we make a scrollwork grid it is importat that the grid is good looking with well balanced details. It is not enough that it is strong. In my view, an eysore tool is not efficient since it gives a bad feeling to the user. A well designed and executed piece is more efficient since the user has a good feeling when using it. My professor in machinery design used to say that if the part looks ugly it will not work well but if it looks beautiful it will. In the nineteenth century, a machine made piece, was more expensive and gave he owner more prestige than a hand made, so blacksmiths were keen on smooth surface. Today it is the opposite. Hand made means a certain uniqueness and uniqueness has always been considered valuable. An artist making prints will destroy the plate after a certain number of prints in order to preserve the uniqueness of his work. I was warned at an early stage that i should not overdo what I made. There is a limit when a piece is finished. If one goes on and tries to refine it, it starts to go downhill. There is a lesson to learn from Chinese/Japanese calligraphy. You must execute the character fairly swiftly with single strokes of the brush. You are not allowed to "paint" the character. Any attempt to "improve" the character afterwards kills it. Similarly a piece of blacksmiths work should in my view have a certain amount of boldness. When I look at video clips I am often surprised that smiths, who obviously are very good, go on tapping long after the shape is there and the tapping does not make any change that is visible in the video. (besides the piece is too cold when they do that) Of course it is also a question of what we are making. A garden fork is not a necklace. Some pieces benefit from surfacing brass brushing blueing whatever.
  13. Your videos are really good - probably the best. One feature I appreciate a lot is your texts. I hate trying to figure out what a guy is mumbling into camera most of the time. Some of the video makers seem to be more interested in showing their unshaven faces than showing the smithing action. Thank you very much for an excellent work.
  14. gote

    I blew up my vise

    Suggest you find someone with a lathe (If you do not own one ourself) and make a new. Nice looking feather by the way
  15. It also helps in silencing the anvil if there is good solid contact with the end of the feet.
  16. Very few plants and fungi are REALLY toxic mening that a small part will kill you if you eat them. In my corner of the world there are five wild plants plus a couple of garden plants and thre fungi that are deadly. (I will not enumerate the killers in public) If you handle them with bare hands no problem will occur in spite of all well meaning warnings. Some plants (very few) will give an allergic reaction if you touch them. Poison ivy and Heracleum are the best known and are a big nuisance but not a threat to life. A large number of plans are slightly toxic meaning that they may upset your tummy or give a burning feeling if you consume a sufficient amount. Practically all of them taste awful. Many of these have a bad reputation far in excess of the danger. Oxalis acetosella is definitely not toxic if you use a few to give taste to a salad or nibble on them when walking in the forest. The genus oxalis is large and most of them have yellow flowers. They indeed contain oxalic acid which is poisonous in large amounts; so is acetic acid which is the business ingredient in vinegar. Neither of them will harm you by handling or ingestion unless concentrated. There is oxalic acid in Rhubarb and Acetic acid in vinegar and both are used in cooking. For at least 2400 years it has been said, by those who know, that "the poison lies in the dosage". You can kill yourself by drinking too much water.
  17. The traditional fleur de lys is the top one. It is just my personal preferences of course but I would not consider the bottom one to be the real McCoy
  18. You asked for cross-over Glenn. This is a carpentry item used in a blacksmith shop. And I forgot. I use a discarded aluminium frying pan with the "edges" cut off to protect the anvil when chiseling. The handle is handy.
  19. I would buy it too if the price is right. lots of useful stuff/tools
  20. I use a portable adjustable stand intended for miter saws to support long stock when I need to have the hands free. I use an old vac to blow my smoke out. My slake tub is intended for masonry. I use a funny kitchen tong Intended to grap whatnots to pick coals that may have fallen to the floor. I use a kitchen gas burner intended for glazing puddings to start my fire - The flame reaches further down than a match.
  21. I agree, the most dangerous thing in the shop is myself. That is: If I do not use the thing between my ears. The next most dangerous thing is fatigue with hurry coming third (or perhaps the other way round). A visible known danger is rarely causing accidents. It is the invisible and/or unknown and/or unexpected that is dangerous. Wrong safety devices are really dangerous. I recall “safety officials” wanting sprinklers in an aluminium powder room. Water on burning aluminium powder is likely to lift the roof of the building but they insisted. I do not own a buffer or wire wheel but I can believe that they are dangerous. In the blacksmith shop, I rate the lathe highest (when filing, normally not) for reasons mentioned by Frosty. The angle grinder is probably second. The bench grinder third. The oxy-acetylene set is obviously dangerous if not well looked after. In the wood shop the table saw is #1, the planer #2 and the band saw #3. I always read that the table saw may throw the piece when rip cutting but I have ripped hundreds of feet without anything happening. (I still always stand out of the way)
  22. I no longer have the literature available to check this out but I could follow Frosty's exampe and speculate: Normally we use Boron based fluxes. The borax/poric acid forms relatively fluid compounds with many metal oxides (including Iron) that are fluid enogh to be squeezed out of the joints. Maybe chromium oxides do not react with the borax or (more likely I think) the result is not fluid enough to be squeezed out of the joint.