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About Latticino

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    Senior Member

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    Upstate NY
  • Interests
    Blacksmithing, bladesmithing, glassblowing, restoring and playing antique flutes. HLG and boomerangs, recumbent bicycles, sea kayaking, white water canoeing, reading SF/Fantasy

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  1. Latticino

    Grinder Identification Help!

    I see this as a home-built machine (perhaps cobbled together from some commercial cast iron parts), with some stickers added by a former owner. My read on this, from what I can decipher from the photos is that it has two motors, one side being a belt grinder with (3) wheels and the other a (2) wheel grinder. The large hollow pulley is the "drive wheel" for the two wheel side of the machine. Of course I could be completely off base, hard to tell if not in person.
  2. With sufficient exhaust vent duct rise you should not need an inducer fan. I prefer not to use them as they provide another point of failure in your system. Removal of the exhaust fan and capping of the opening with non-combustible material, then centering the new flue in that cap and bringing the outlet all the way to the outside of the building is my recommendation. You will have to consult your local code for allowable location of termination for chimneys and vents as well as the required separation between the metal flue, method of construction for the flue, and any combustible materials you have in the wall it penetrates. I strongly recommend you get the local authorities having jurisdiction involved, since installation without their approval may void your insurance (and some of your design ideas appear dangerous, particularly as regards lack of CO extraction and potential fire hazards). Careful review of the International Mechanical code and NFPA 211 should be made. Unfortunately there is no secondary exhaust hood, just a sidewall fan...
  3. Glen, I'm afraid you are misunderstanding his sketch. As I see it, he has the top of the duct terminating inside his building. Bbecker, this is not a good idea. The sidewall fan will not reliably extract all the exhaust from the duct, and combustible materials may be too close to the outlet. Please ensure that the duct from the hood terminates outside your building, typically at least 3' above the roof peak. Also you likely will need a roof thimble for the penetration.
  4. Guy I just took a class from uses super quench on his power hammer dies, but those are mild steel. Not sure what that would do to medium carbon.
  5. Latticino

    First try building a forge.

    Looks good. Hang on to that one, should be quite handy for small projects. How did you mod your torch?
  6. Mine is mounted on some very heavy gauge steel angle that has been embedded in a 55 gal drum filled 2/3 of the way with concrete. Won't say it is extremely portable, but it doesn't move very much at all unless I deliberately shift it with a hand truck. The drum top edge also doubles as tong storage. If there is significant interest I will try to get a photo and post it.
  7. Latticino

    Favorite steel for an ax bit

    I've used 5160, 1075 and 1084 for bits on axes and hawks. Haven't made a tremendous number, but don't really notice any major difference between the forge welding. I would consider taking the 1045 out of the mix unless you are going for a axe/hawk that is primarily for throwing. With the inevitable carbon migration you might end up with an edge that doesn't have the carbon content to harden as much as you would like. Not as critical for a throwing axe, IMHO, where toughness can trump hardness, but each to his own.
  8. Latticino

    Finally found one

    Found a similar little old lady selling her deceased husbands 2005 Chevy Colorado with low miles and a good cap at an fair price because it was an odd color that no one else wanted (Copper, which I actually liked). Almost bought it until I discovered that the transmission would not switch out of 2-wheel drive... She had no idea since she had never driven it, or at least that was what I was told by the neighbor who was selling it for her. Hope your story ends better. Truck looks like a good one.
  9. Latticino

    What Tools Can I Make From Mild Steel?

    Mild steel can also be used for making drifts and mandrels (though they will wear out sooner), jigs (great for making multiple items), a guillotine (fantastic tool, check out the "Smithing Magician"), hold downs, bending forks, and various different types of top and bottom fullers (though again they won't wear quite as well). This is hardly an exhaustive list. There are countless tools that have been made from mild steel over the centuries. It all depends on what trade you are making tools for. Leather workers, ceramicists, wood workers, jewelers... all can use mild steel tooling in addition to smiths. That being said, there is a reason high carbon steel is often called "tool steel".
  10. Latticino

    Glass Anvils!

    Kiln casting glass is something that needs experimentation to get right. Typically the final female mold is made out of some form of plaster, often with the interior layers done in a higher grade of dental plaster to get good definition and the outer done with more conventional plaster. If you want to make multiples, you will typically make an initial female mold in silicon, or the like, so you can make multiple male wax positives to burn out from your plaster female molds. I've only done a couple, and it was quite some time ago, so don't remember the details all that clearly. I believe that your 2,000 degree kiln will work, provided you go with soda lime silica glass rather than borosilicate. I would investigate the pate-de-verre process using relatively large glass chunks (colloquially called "chunk de verre") to try to maintain transparency and limit devitrification if you insist on going this route. You will most likely need to zero in your annealing cycle to make something that will survive, and have tooling and experience to do the required final cleanup. Cast resin will be much, much easier IMHO. Check out the Smooth-on tutorials here for good information: My wife has experience using their product line and has gotten some very good results.
  11. Latticino

    Edgewise Hold Fast

    As you already know a guillotine will do a great job at this. If not a spring fuller that has a couple of almost butcher sharp (forging tool butcher, not butcher knife), or whatever round stock size you want for your transition radius, ends can work as well. If not that, careful use of the anvil edge and correct hammer position is also effective. However you have come up with an interesting idea for a modified hold down. I think the geometry of the "u-bend" will have to be pretty carefully executed to work as you have described, and will not be easy to setup and use as you want, but why not go for it. Personally I would just build a guillotine (fantastically useful tool) or spring fuller.
  12. Mistake #15: Focusing more on collecting all the ideal smithing tools and equipment rather than actually getting out and forging (power hammer, hydraulic press, fly press, treadle hammer, 2 x 72 grinder, MIG welder, London pattern anvil, must-have hammer of the week...) Mistake 16: Forgetting just how long it takes a chunk of steel to fully cool down to direct handling heat Mistake 17: Missing out on opportunities for direct instruction or demonstration from local smiths. Find your local ABANA chapters or smithing clubs, go to hammer-ins, take classes. You don't have to reinvent the wheel
  13. Latticino

    Burners 101

    Actually it can happen a lot faster than you expect. If the ball valve is being used for metering it may have to be closed so far that the gas velocity in proximity to the ball can get very high. Since the propane vapor coming off the tank is not in perfect gaseous state, some microscopic liquid droplets can get passed with the vapor. This can lead to what is called "wire-drawing" in the control valve world. The abrasion to the valve seat and ball from this high velocity liquid can ruin the isolation capability of the valve. Admittedly it is less a problem for ball valves used on propane than it is for, say, gate valves used for steam, but as you say, why chance it. The other down side to using a ball valve for metering is that the adjustment is quite difficult, as you clearly noted. You can close the valve pretty far without making a major change in the downstream pressure. That is where true metering valves, like needle valves and pressure regulators show their real colors. If you do decide to use a ball valve for metering, attempt to gain some "valve authority" by reducing the valve size below that of the line feeding the forge.
  14. Latticino

    First Forge! Then a problem

    Burner appears to be a version of a Dave Hammer style burner. Possibly not the most efficient burner out there these days, but not worthless either. In my experience these burners are very sensitive to gas orifice location and flare geometry. Before I made any major modifications to the burner I would try the following: Confirm you have a true propane rated adjustable regulator, not a fixed pressure regulator Adjust the location of the Mig orifice forward and aft in the tube to see if you can induce more air. To my untrained eye the flame doesn't look that bad (provided the orange color burn off is just coming from your stainless flare). Adjust amount of coverage the flare has on the mixing tube (move it fore and aft). This has a surprisingly large effect. In the forge you may end up not wanting a flare at all. If none of this gets you where you want to be, try switching the mig tip to one size larger.
  15. Latticino

    Forge burner troubleshooting

    Pete, If you don't know about them already, you have some additional other great resources here in Rochester: the NYSDB group ( and Arc and Flame (