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About stevomiller

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  • Gender
  • Location
    East Bay Area, Nor Cal
  • Interests
    Smithing, knives, axes, primitive technologies


  • Location
    Tracy, California
  • Interests
    hunting, smithing, dogs
  • Occupation
    manufacturing engineer

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  1. stevomiller

    Should I buy this old anvil?

    Woof Woof! Anyways, Id really check that beast out closely, and personally I’d be hesitant to pay $150 for it. Looks to have been used hard for most it’s life (but not necessarily abused tho). The sweet spot is saddled and the tail is recurved down, besides the chunk of face that delaminated and broke off from the hardy hole to the heel. Maybe lots of sledge work done on it. However the edges are relatively intact, as if for most its life whomever used it knew what they were doing, or at least had good aim.
  2. stevomiller

    Identification of Champion Blower

    Man Irondragon, you done went and done good! That blower is in wonderful shape and you got it for a good price to boot! Congratulations!
  3. CMS I think is correct, you probably have some leeway in what you use. Being how old it is I’m sure originally it wasn’t anything exotic, probably something like 1035-45 at most. Case hardened mild steel toggle pins would wear hard and not crack like a through hardened carbon or tool steel might. BTW your hammer is looking great, you have done a nice job restoring her. I really like the looks of the hammers that use leaf springs, they just seem more steam punkish ;-)
  4. Irondragon that’s good to know, I never tried mild steel for the spring. Do you normalize, or quench or any sort of thermal treatment with mild? I do know that when I first used spring steel I did what I thought was a proper hardening and draw, but it still broke in use. My friend/mentor told me to just normalize it the next time, which I did, and it’s lasted. BTW that was using old Studebaker springs, i have no idea if they used 10 series or 5160 or what back in the 50”s
  5. stevomiller

    Mankel anvil

    William, welcome aboard! Small world for us to get one of the actual foundry men in here :-).
  6. Awesome, glad you got one, and at a good price too! For your spring, if you use old automotive spring steel, once you are done shaping and forging, just heat a little above nonmagnetic and allow to air cool. Works perfect, no need to harden and draw a temper for this application, and also much easier to do and not mess up. In that ad I’m not sure if the swage block was included or not, or even if you had the desire or need of one.
  7. NCHammer, Really there is no right or wrong way to approach what you want to do - unless you wanted to buy another cast iron ASO at a true anvil price. If I was you, which I’m not, I’d do my best to envision what I really honestly thought id be making and working on for the next couple years. If it’s smaller artistic items, knives, and I just had to have a typical shaped single or double horn anvil NOW, with your budget, and I needed a known quality brand, then out of what you posted I’d prefer he NC Knifemaker, the heel is a little thicker, or the Cliff Carroll. Kanca has a forged steel double anvil in the same weight class that would be about $100 more shipped, it’s a known maker and sold thru smithing outlets. Again still lighter weight than most shop anvils but a material and shape I would prefer, but it’s pretty much a preference. As for the anvil you showed last, I have the same one bought off of EBay, I’m happy with it. It was worth $140shipped. Picture and info click HERE . It does NOT appear to a composite cast steel/cast iron, it is all steel. Another person on either this site or Bladesmithsforum has one, we’ve both posted about them. For what I paid it’s great for a light blacksmith pattern anvil. However, they’re made in China and sold by multiple non-smithing retailers. If you get a dud, you might be on your own and out your money. I didn’t mind gambling, again that’s ME and I have other bigger anvils already. One good thing if you did get one that wasn’t quite as hard as ideal, but was a decent casting you still have the horn and hardy hole to use. Consider if you need a horn for your work, or might a separate cone/bick etc work for what you imagine you will work on. And as TP mentions, if you landed a big hardened mold or die block cheap, it would be really tough to beat for bladesmithing. A block anvil is what Japanese swordmakersand cutlers did and do use. Check out the fellow that makes GS Tongs and tools, he does very nice work using block anvils and variations there of. Marc1 gives good advice about not necessarily using online sources to locate a used anvil, word of mouth and networking etc will more likely find you one that isn’t crazily priced.
  8. NC, here’s something to think about. Every anvil shown, even the one called a Knife Maker, is designed specifically with feature to work horseshoes. Of course they work for just about anything else, but they are optimized for that use, and also portability since most shoers travel with their tools to the horse owners. They are made of cast and hardened ductile iron, which is good, but perhaps not as good as cast steel (a good ductile iron anvil properly cast and hardened is better than an improperly cast and hardened steel anvil.) If both are manufactured to equal relative quality steel is better. The sweet spot on those anvils (most efficient area to move metal) makes up perhaps 1/3 of the mass of those anvils, so about 25lbs. Thats about the same as a 4x4x5 block of steel. Folks have been gently guiding you away from spending your money on these towards much cheaper options so yo can get started. Until your skill is sufficient to make your own: Do you have multiple types of tongs already? A couple different sizes of chisels and punches? Some good files? Heavy duty wire brush for removing scale? A good vise? All of those items are almost a necessity, a “traditional” shaped anvil IS NOT. Not saying don’t buy one of the ones you’ve shown, but I am saying think of where you spend your money, and at what point in your smithing journey. Maybe Save up and get what you said you really wanted, a 100lbs or larger anvil, whether used or new.
  9. stevomiller

    Motor needed

    Gav your drive wheel would “probably “be fine with a 1.5hp motor. Its a tough question on what to use since it’s a balancing act, and I haven’t actually used your machine. I’m guessing when working on wood, etc ,with lighter pressure , it does ok? Or is it that it doesn’t allow you to do any work at all? if the first, then try reducing your drive wheel circumference by about 30%, if the latter your probably just out of luck. BTW, what is the rpm rating of your motor, if you posted it I missed it sorry. 1200? 1500? 1800? 3600? Something else? Since your set up is direct drive your drive wheel size is much more important especially if your motor is smaller, because the available torque is much less.
  10. stevomiller

    Motor needed

    A 3/4 hp is definitely on the low end. However, as I’m many know, there’s 3/4 hp motors and then there are 3/4 hp motors. Regardless of wattage/current/hp ratings (claims?) I’ve found many inexpensive tool’s motors to behave like they are perhaps 80% of what they claim or the motor plate lists. When scrounging motors (or especially if buying) for metal working tools I prefer TEFC to open drip proof or especially any open frame motor. Although open drip proof can run cooler you run the risk of abrasive and metallic dust getting inside and causing trouble, and non drip proof open frame motors can short out or get said dust into open or just shielded(not sealed) bearings. OP, what size drive wheel is that you are using? Temporarily you could drop the diameter on it so you won’t stall or bog it down quite so easy. Granted belt speed thus grinding speed is reduced, but you will be able to apply more pressure on your workpiece.
  11. stevomiller

    It followed me home

    Thomas, sorry for ribbing you, but I got schooled by my family on this one, I’m first gen born here in the states. My folks believe it or not didn’t drink beer at home, so Krug isn’t a German word I learned around the kitchen table (I am NOT fluent, I understand just what basic family conversations a kid would hear). However back on the other continent visiting I used our American common term Stein (which I knew ment stone but also figured it was correct for the tankard, one of those “lead, lead” type of words. I got an explanation pretty much matching what Wiki says, except he didn’t tell me any of the regional names such as Seidel from southern Germany, but hey they talk funny there anyways! My best friend growing up was from Bavaria, and when eating dinner there one night his dad kept asking in their dialect for “Krumbiren” (spic?). I didn’t know what he wanted, and he thought I was just daft. Ends up he wanted the potatoes, what my family called “Kartoffeln”, “Erdapfeln”or I think “ Erfel”(spic?) I heard from the older folks.
  12. Check your PMs sent you a possible lead, would be a drive though. 4” vise and swage block for $130
  13. stevomiller

    It followed me home

    Since that is definitely a German “tankard” we shall refer to it as a Krug, especially having a lid, and not a stein. My family will hand you a stone if you ask for a stein! Whatever you English wish to call it, we shall both agree to call it a nice find and good deal! ;-)
  14. stevomiller

    Hay Rake Tine Striker Problems

    Been a long time since I’ve made these and it was under the nose of the guy teaching me smithing. Always had better luck with plain higher carbon (think W1/files) over other material. Left the material extremely hard, maybe 250* temper. Keep sharp edges they. Throw Sparks’s better. Last but only hearsay because I never tried it, I’ve had multiple smiths tell me that if you grow the grain a bit they throw better sparks (metal abraded off easier), of course it also weakens the parent stock so there would be a balancing act.
  15. stevomiller

    Forging brass rod to steel

    Holy Thread Necromancy Batman! I believe about 20 years ago Ed Fowler was doing the DamBrasscus thing, along with claims of all sorts of added performance. It fizzled and the truth was there was issues with the small steel wires absorbing detrimental elements and other problems. Looks cool, but best left to fittings etc and not blades, especially near the cutting edge.